The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is moving closer to its goal of making the country’s public housing 100 percent smoke free. A proposed rule announced today follows a plan first announced in October 2014 to cleanse all HUD properties of tobacco-based products.

This is a major announcement according to Ballard Spahr attorney Amy Glassman who regularly monitors the issue.

"The proposed rule seeks to address a significant public health issue, which impacts not only smokers and their families, but also other residents and employees of public housing sites," she said in a statement to HousingWire.

But there are also other considerations to be addressed with such a ban, she said.

"These are issues that many housing authorities have been considering and addressing for some time.  However, a required smoking ban, if implemented, would add regulatory requirements to a program that is already facing significant funding shortages. It would be helpful if additional funding resources were provided to assist housing authorities with implementing and enforcing an additional regulatory requirement.  Further, smoking bans raise a number of enforcement questions, both with respect to lease enforcement as well as accommodating persons with disabilities, so HUD guidance on both issues would be extremely helpful."

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