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Residents upset with smoking ban in public housing - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Residents upset with smoking ban in public housing

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Smoking will soon be banned in public housing units nationwide.

In 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development passed a rule, phasing out smoking in units. With the "smoke-free" deadline approaching, some have questions about the change.

At the public housing unit on Kattie Drive in Lafayette, residents are free to smoke on their front porches but in just a few weeks that is something that will change.

"If that's the rules I guess you can't smoke in public housing. You've got to got go out somewhere else and smoke," says  Byron Scott .

Starting on July 31, 2018, smokers living in public housing will have to travel 25 feet away from the property to light up. HUD says the rule is meant to cut down on second-hand smoke and to encourage smokers to quit.

Some residents on Kattie Drive are upset about that prospect.     

"The old folks, in wheelchairs and stuff like that. How will they be able to smoke 25 feet from where they stay at you know. They can't barely walk or nothing like that. So they have to look at things like that too," says Scott.

"I ain't walking! I'm going to stay right here!" Lester Broussard adds. 

Tenants who break the rule will be given a warning on the first offense and could be evicted for further offenses.

"They [residents] should have they own rights in they own house. They pay bills ain't they," resident Patrick Hayes says.

HUD will also direct tenants to resources to help them quit smoking but residents on Kattie Drive say they wish HUD would leave them alone.

"Some folks can't walk you know and they smoke so what are you going to do about that."

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