National public housing smoking ban takes effect

The Fort Wayne Housing Authority has banned smoking since 2013.

Posted: Jul 31, 2018 11:03 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Smoking is now banned on public housing properties across the country.

The nationwide ban took effect Tuesday, however the Fort Wayne Housing Authority has banned smoking since 2013.

"My parents smoked when I was young, and my husband smoked and I have the after effects of it," said Brenda Mattox, who lives in FWHA owned Whispering Oaks.

She said not many of her neighbors smoke, but is glad those who do have to get 25 feet off the property.

"Most everybody here has commented they like the idea of no smoking," she said.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the new policy two years ago, but gave everyone time to comply.

However, FWHA banned people from smoking before then.

"We wanted to make sure we were ahead because we knew there were going to be some things that had to be corrected," said George Guy, FWHA executive director.

Guy told FOX 55 since the ban took effect, the agency has saved money.

"It is safer, obviously less fires in terms of smoking related," he said.

This savings allows improvements to be made to several properties, such as adding fitness centers to many highrises.

"We took advantage of this by saying there was an opportunity for us to do more, in terms of opportunities for wellness for our residents," Guy said.

The rule will be in many leases across the country, which means people who continue to smoke could be evected.

However HUD said one violation should not be grounds for an eviction.

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