Public Housing Goes Smoke Free

Violations Could Lead To Eviction

July 31, 2018 - 3:22 pm

 Richmond, VA. (WRVA) - In November of 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) made the rule that public housing agencies and their facilities had to go smoke free. This occurred while President Obama was leading the Nation and Julian Castro was Director of HUD. President Trump put Dr. Ben Carson in Charge of HUD and they have continued the no smoking policy roll out.

The new rule stipulates that no one can smoke inside an apartment, in common areas or within 25 feet of any public housing building or administration building. The rule covers anyone on public housing property: residents; guest; vendors and employees. HUD is quick to point out that they are not prohibiting residents or employees from smoking; and, admission to public housing cannot be denied to applicants solely because they smoke.

Prohibited tobacco products are defined as items that involve ignition and burning of tobacco leaves, such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes and water pipes (hookahs). Residents will be fined $100 if they violate the rule. Residents could be evicted if they or their guest(s) repeatedly violate the no smoking rule.

Orlando Artze, Interim CEO of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority, confirms RRHA has put the no smoking policy into effect. Artze says RRHA has gone a step further and also banned vaping and e-cigarettes which was not required by HUD. Artze states that "the major concern for RRHA is that their residents live in a healthy enviroment and this is a way to move forward on that."