Geneva Housing Authority board approves smoking ban

Posted: Thursday, August 6, 2015 5:00 pm

GENEVA — Effective April 1, smoking will be prohibited in the 228 housing units managed by the Geneva Housing Authority.

The smoking ban is included in the 2015-16 agency plan approved July 28 by the authority’s Board of Commissioners.

The plan goes into effect Oct. 1, but the smoking ban implementation will be delayed until April 1 so that tenants can be educated on the new policy and make any adjustments.

The ban affects 90 rental units at Elmcrest Apartments on Lewis Street, 100 units at Courtyard Apartments on Goodman Street and the authority’s 38 scattered sites in the city.

It prohibits smoking inside the units and in common spaces in those complexes. An existing ban on smoking within 25 feet of the entrances to the housing units will continue, as will existing bans at playgrounds and gazebos on authority grounds.

The affiliate corporations that manage Lyceum Heights and Seneca Apartments must make their own decisions on smoking, said Andrew Tyman, the housing authority’s executive director.

“We are not talking of evicting tenants for violations, but providing education and delaying implementation for six months,’’ Tyman noted.

He said the federal government is going to mandate the smoking ban soon for federally subsidized housing units.

“It’s also being done for health reasons for residents and staff. There is a secondhand smoke issue in common areas that affects non-smokers,’’ Tyman said. “There is also a safety factor of lessening the chances of a fire and lower maintenance costs in cleaning units occupied by heavy smokers.”

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