HUD: Public housing must be smoke-free by end of July

Photo courtesy: MGN

(WVLT) -- Residents of public housing will face new changes as the Department of Housing and Urban Development's ban on smoking indoors is set to go into effect for all departments by July 31.

The ban means people living in public housing will not be able to smoke inside or even just right outside their patio. The decision was approved two years ago, but the department gave until the end of this month for it to be implemented.

The policy requires smokers to be at least 25 feet away from housing and offices. Tenants get four strikes before possible eviction. The department's smoke-free guidebook said the goal is to reduce cost associated with renovating units after someone has smoked in them.

HUD estimates this change will save public housing $154 million per year, according to CBS affiliate WAFB.

Read more about the policy here.