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New Smoke Free Public Housing Regulations

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) adopted regulations to ban smoking in all public housing in the District effective July 30, 2018. This ban comes following a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) mandate requiring all Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to do so contained in 24 CFR §§ 965.651 et seq. The purpose of this ban is to reduce the risk of fire, maintenance costs, and to eliminate the harmful health effects of second hand smoking. A repeated violation of this ban will be considered a material breach of the lease and can result in eviction. The ban not only applies to living units but also common rooms and outside areas within 25 feet of public housing or administrative office buildings. The new regulations also give DCHA discretion to create a Smoking Area that is at least 25 feet away from its public housing or administrative office buildings. This ban applies to all residents, guests, visitors, and employees. Therefore, residents are responsible for the actions of all their household members, guests, and visitors. It is important to note that applications for public housing still cannot be denied solely because an applicant smokes. View more information about HUD’s smoking policy and learn more about DCHA’s smoking policy.