HUD Releases Initial Guidance on Smoke-Free Housing Rule

HUD has released guidance on its final smoke-free housing rule, which went into effect in February 2017. Under the rule, housing authorities will have until July 2018 to implement their smoke-free housing policies.

The rule contained several provisions for PHAs:

• PHAs must implement the smoking-ban within 18 months of the rule’s effective date, i.e. by July 3, 2018.
• Smoke-free policies must extend to all outdoor areas up to 25 feet from public housing buildings and administrative offices.
• Prohibited tobacco products are defined as items that involve the ignition and burning of tobacco leaves, such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes and water pipes (also known as hookahs).
• Interior common areas include, but are not limited to, hallways, rental and administrative offices, community centers, day care centers, laundry centers, and similar structures.
• PHAs will be required to document their smoke-free policies in their PHA plans and prohibit lit tobacco in tenant leases, which may be implemented through an amendment process or as tenants renew their leases annually.
• HUD expects that PHAs will conduct resident engagement and outreach, and partner with local community health organizations and smoking cessation groups during the implementation phase.

In the new guidance, HUD covers issues such as implementation, including lease & PHA amendments and funding, as well as enforcement and monitoring tools, community building and outreach, and available smoke-free resources, such as best practices and smoking cessation programs.

The agency has also set up a Smoke-Free Multifamily Housing Resource Bank with tools and resources that PHAs can use, including enforcement strategies, marketing and resident education materials, sample leases, sample resident surveys, and toolkits from the CDC and American Lung Association.

To view the full guidance, please click here.

If any CLPHA members are interested in connecting with other CLPHA member housing authorities who have already implemented smoke-free housing policies, please contact CLPHA staff person Nicole Barrett at for further details.