U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
WASHINGTON, DC 20410-5000
PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC AND INDIAN HOUSING
“Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, healthy home free from harmful second-hand cigarette smoke.” —Secretary Julián Castro
Dear Executive Director,
Yesterday HUD took a major step towards improving the health and safety of public housing residents by publishing its final rule Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing.
The rule prohibits lit tobacco products in units, common areas, PHA administrative offices, and all areas within 25 feet of buildings. This will reduce the risk of exposure to second-hand smoke and smoke-related maintenance costs, benefiting all PHA staff and residents, including more than 760,000 children and 329,000 senior residents.
Our announcement of a final rule follows a yearlong comment and review period, incorporating feedback from stakeholders and building upon the experience of more than 600 PHAs that have instituted Smoke-Free policies since 2009. The final rule is effective 60 days after publication, on February 3, 2017, and allows PHAs 18 months to fully implement the policy.
To support your Smoke Free implementation, Secretary Castro and I held a National Stakeholder call last Thursday, providing an overview of the rule and sharing resources from HUD and our many public health partners. You can learn more about Creating Healthier Communities with Smoke-Free Public Housing, including video testimonials from public housing residents in Milwaukee.
These resources will help jump start your efforts, and we will continue to develop resources to support your success. Working together, we will build safer and healthier communities.
With much appreciation,
Lourdes Castro Ramírez