Smoke Free Properties
Smoke free policies in multi-housing units have the ability to protect residents while saving the property owners money. When a resident smokes within their unit, there is no way to prevent secondhand smoke from spreading to the neighboring units through shared vents, ducts, and cracks. Secondhand smoke exposure from those smoking units can cause health problems among the non-smoking residents, especially if they have a chronic disease like asthma, heart disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoke-free policies can reduce apartment turnover costs, reduce the risk of fire, and potentially reduce insurance costs.
On December 5, 2016, HUD finalized a rule that requires all Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to implement a smoke free policy by July 30, 2018. HUD’s rule is a continuation of its formal encouragement to adopt smoke-free policies in public housing, multifamily housing, and mixed-income housing. The smoke-free rule requires PHAs to implement a policy that prohibits using all lit tobacco products inside all dwelling units, indoor common areas, and PHA administrative office buildings. The smoke-free policy must also extend to 25 feet from all housing and administrative buildings. PHAs have the discretion to establish designated smoking locations outside of the required 25-foot perimeter, which can include partially enclosed structures. PHAs may also establish additional smoke-free areas (such as around a playground) or make their entire grounds smoke-free.