BMHA votes to ban smoking in public housing

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority chose to ban smoking in public housing in a unanimous vote Thursday afternoon.

The Housing Authority’s “Healthy BMHA” plan included an initiative to ban smoking in its 31 properties. The ban proposal originally came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

City residents representing both sides of the argument shared their opinions on the proposal earlier this month.

Resident Elizabeth Henderson said, “I’m getting all the smoke from other people’s apartments. I can’t even use my heating system on the vent on the wall because of the fumes.”

A concern expressed by some was that lifelong smokers would be evicted from their homes.

Another resident, Rose Arbo was not supportive of the ban, saying, “You’re expecting disabled and handicapped people and the elderly to go out of the building in inclement weather? They can barely walk. It’s unfair to the people.”

The ban will be softly enforced starting July 1 and hard enforcement will begin Jan. 1, 2017.