Mid-Missouri public housing soon to be smoke free

2 years 8 months 1 week ago Tuesday, December 06 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 5:55:00 PM CST December 06, 2016 in News
By: Madeline Odle, KOMU 8 News Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY — Several mid-Missouri housing authorities will soon be changing their rules on smoking inside or near public housing. 

This comes after the federal government approved a final rule prohibiting smoking in public housing developments nationwide. 

The new rule bans smoking inside housing units and within 25 feet of any housing developments. Local housing authorities were given 18 months to meet these guidelines. 

Many housing authorities across the country have already chosen to go smoke free, including the Columbia Housing Authority. However, in Fulton and Jefferson City, public housing tenants can still smoke inside their individual units. 

The Jefferson City Housing Authority oversees several different types of housing, including senior living, but public housing will be the only area forced to go smoke free. 

Executive Director Cynthia Quetsch said she doesn't expect everyone to be happy about the change. 

"That will be an adjustment for people, because they feel like it's their home," Quetsch said. 

However, when it comes to enforcement, she said those who want a smoke-free environment could be the housing authority's biggest allies. 

"There are public housing authorities who have already gone smoke free, and they say their biggest way of discovering it is tenants," Quetsch said. "Other tenants who want to have the benefit of smoke-free living, and don't want to have to worry about secondhand smoke." 

In Fulton, tenants who signed up for public housing after 2012 are prohibited from smoking, while those who were grandfathered in are still able to smoke. 

However, Anne Johnson, executive director of the Fulton Housing Authority, said right now there is no real enforcement of the smoke-free rule. 

"We also don't have a punishment, or don't have consequences when people are caught smoking at this point in time," Johnson said. 

The new federal rule requires enforcement, meaning local authorities will have to create consequences for any violations of the rule. Johnson said this enforcement would be one of the more difficult parts of the switch.

"It is a lease violation, but what is a lease violation? Is it a warning the first time? Is it a money fine, or could it be termination?" 

However, Johnson said the authority plans to speak with tenants directly to find solutions that benefit everyone.

"It seems natural to have them involved in this part of the process," Johnson said. "It affects them." 

According to NBC News, The Department of Housing and Urban Development has been encouraging local public agencies to enact smoking bans, and some 228,000 public housing units were already smoke free. The new rule will expand the impact to more than 940,000 units.

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Governor Mike Parson issued a proclamation Wednesday ordering the state legislature to convene in a special session. ... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, August 21 2019 Aug 21, 2019 Wednesday, August 21, 2019 12:44:00 PM CDT August 21, 2019 in News
FULTON, Mo. - Fulton Police Department said it arrested a man attempting to flee a scene involving firearms. Authorities... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, August 21 2019 Aug 21, 2019 Wednesday, August 21, 2019 8:05:00 AM CDT August 21, 2019 in News
School is starting back up again, but reading might not be the first thing on a child’s mind. A workshop... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, August 21 2019 Aug 21, 2019 Wednesday, August 21, 2019 12:50:00 AM CDT August 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The man who allegedly killed a woman who has been missing since 2006 arrived in Boone County Tuesday... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:28:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
CAMDENTON - One person has minor burns after a fire Tuesday evening at an auto shop in Camdenton. According... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:07:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Businesses who are applying for their medical marijuana licenses in Columbia are one step closer after Monday night's... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:40:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
MID-MISSOURI - Finding the perfect parking spot can be a hassle, but it can be even more difficult if you... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:30:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Construction crews are continuing to work on both Jefferson City public high schools in preparation for classes... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 5:45:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
VIENNA - Multiple suspects are currently being questioned after officials said someone intentionally started the house fire leading to an... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:59:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The FEMA recovery center for Cole County closed its doors Tuesday. The center helped hundreds of... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:51:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — State officials say an improving economy is one of several factors that led to close to... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:39:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - An increased focus on climate change from legislature and activists has prompted utilities providers to implement renewable energies... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 2:09:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A group of Missouri protesters are taking a stand against self-driving trucks in the state. Over 29... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 1:47:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Cole County judge issued a restraining order Monday against Senate Bill 391, regarding regulation of concentrated... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 1:25:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS — Major League Soccer has awarded the next expansion franchise to St. Louis, where a new downtown stadium... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 12:33:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY — A former teacher at a Catholic school in Kansas City alleges in a lawsuit that she was... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:15:00 AM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County FEMA Disaster Relief Center in Jefferson City is wrapping up operations on Tuesday, but... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:04:00 AM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Department of Health and Senior Services received over 2,100 medical marijuana facility applications by the deadline.... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 7:37:00 PM CDT August 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 88°
4pm 84°
5pm 84°
6pm 82°
7pm 79°