Late yesterday HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) issued Notice PIH 2017-03, “HUD Guidance on Instituting and Enforcing Smoke-Free Public Housing Policies.” The notice follows December’s publication of the smoke-free final rule.
Subjects discussed in the guidance notice include implementation, PHA flexibility, and PHA policy options concerning use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and designated smoking areas (DSAs). The notice also includes instructions for revisions to public housing leases and PHA plans.
The notice also encourages PHAs to adopt graduated enforcement mechanisms for violations of smoke-free policies. PHAs may not evict for a single incident of smoking.
On the subject of reasonable accommodations, the notice includes suggestions for smoke-free policies for residents with disabilities. Such measures could include offering the resident a transfer to a unit near an exit, to a unit on the ground floor, or to a unit in another development where DSAs are provided. However, a PHA may not permit continued smoking in restricted areas.
The notice concludes by encouraging PHAs to engage residents early in the development of smoke-free policies. Best practices have indicated that resident engagement in policy development, implementation, and enforcement are less likely to result in evictions.
Got questions about the smoke-free rule? Don’t miss Nan’s legislative update at the The Housing Conference this August in Boston, where she’ll discuss acts of Congress, regulation changes, and what’s ahead for 2017. Register now for the best rates!