The 39 public housing authorities in Indiana have until August of 2018 to implement the HUD’s new smoke-free policy. 12 of the 39 Indiana housing authorities have varying smoke-free policies in place already. However,no properties in Boone County will be affected because Section-8 housing and properties not owned by the HUD’s Indiana public housing authorities are excluded.
One of the HUD’s largest concerns the HUD had in mind while creating this policy is smoke’s ability to easily travel from one apartment to another and affect the health of nonsmokers. Secondhand smoke is capable of moving through vents, walls, floors, ceilings, and even electrical sockets. It can even deposit particles on to walls, furniture, and carpet to remain long after a smoking resident has moved out. Those who wish to continue smoking may be permitted to smoke in outdoor designated areas, but it will be left to individual housing authorities to decide if they want to have these areas and where they will be.
This policy is seen as a smart financial and health move for residents and housing authorities alike. Approximately 760,000 children live in public housing and allowing smoking inside public housing increases their risk of asthma, ear infections, bronchitis, and lung cancer. Public housing authorities across the country will save between $16 million and $38 million in reduced maintenance and $497 million in reduced health care costs.