HUD bans smoking on all public housing locations - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

HUD bans smoking on all public housing locations

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GREAT FALLS -

Earlier this year the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced increases to residents rent and now renters are facing a new blow which renters are saying is taking too much of their rights away. 

Last month the Great Falls Housing Authority started their smoke-free policy. The policy said you must smoke 25 feet from all public housing and administration buildings. Kevin Hager, executive director, of the GFHA, tell us that it's to help better control public health.

Hager said, "Number one to increase the quality of inside air would be the reason and the other reason would be damage to units and this was a HUD mandate public housing authorities we didn't really have an option."

He added in some cases the damages from smoking in or around the units could be pretty severe, which cost almost a thousand dollars a unit. 

Sandy Sinclair who has been living in public housing for 3 years now and a smoker all her life told us she understands the policy of not smoking inside the home but outside her home is a bit far-fetched.

Sinclair said, "I'm crippled now and walk with crutches and can fall down in the winter and get hurt and nobody see me out there. So I think it should be a little bit of people rights to be able to smoke on the porch and be at home a little bit."

She thinks as long as she is not putting anyone else's health in harm's way then it should be just fine. She said smokers cant go anywhere and smoke anywhere as it is now and it's an addiction and it's a bad habit but they (smokers) should have some rights.

Sinclair added that rules are in place for a reason but officials should hear what the public wants first.

Sinclair added, "If we don't at least stand-up and speak what we feel we are not going to be heard.. and I do want to be heard."
 

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