Residents of Kansas City’s Brush Creek Apartments can no longer smoke in the comfort of their own homes thanks to a new mandate by the Housing Authority.
In July of 2012 an apartment fire forced residents to evacuate the Brush Creek Apartments in Kansas City. Smoking caused the fire. “A smoker dropped a cigarette, his unit caught on fire and that caused a lot of problems for a lot of people,” Edwin Lowndes said, executive director for the Housing Authority of Kansas City.
Lowndes said the fire displaced more than eight residents and cost the Housing Authority $100,000. Now, on July 1, 2014, all Housing Authority properties must be smoke-free.
“We found that a smoker, his smoke does not stay in his unit or in the building, it goes and affects everywhere, everyone in the entire building,” Lowndes said.
About 45 percent of residents in HAKC properties are smokers. The ban affects about 1,700 households. Many of the residents oppose it. “I don’t think it’s realistic, I don’t think it’s going to work. How are you going to make people stop smoking in their homes?” Claude Haight said, a longtime smoker and resident of Brush Creek Apartments.
Landlords say they have the right to modify rules to make them more safe and healthy for residents.
Has the housing authority gone too far with banning residents from smoking in their homes?
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