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Posted: 03/31/17, 12:05 PM EDT
RENSSELAER, N.Y. >> The two apartment complexes operated by the Rensselaer Housing Authority will be smoke-free, effective Saturday.
As required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the smoke-free policy will apply to all indoor spaces, including all 146 units, and a 25-foot perimeter around all buildings, according to a news release from the authority.
“We went smoke-free because we think our residents and our staff deserve to live and work in a healthy, smoke-free environment,” Marianne Ogren, the authority’s executive director and a former longtime resident of authority housing. “We would have gone smoke-free whether or not HUD required it because it just makes sense. I raised my kids here, [and] I think every child and resident who calls RHA home should be able to breathe free and not endure exposure to harmful secondhand smoke.”
The authority first began considering a no-smoking policy in 2015 after residents initiated complaints of secondhand smoke getting into their apartments. Residents have been notified of the policy, and meetings were held to gather feedback, with only one unfavorable response when residents were asked to sign the new lease addendum.
In the Capital Region, both the Albany and Troy housing authorities went smoke-free in all their units on Jan. 1, 2016, while the Schenectady Municipal Housing Authority adopted a smoke-free policy for its communities housing elderly and disabled residents in April 2012.