Cleveland CMHA residents speak out against upcoming smoking ban at public housing units

CLEVELAND - Some Cleveland residents who live in CMHA units believe the upcoming smoking ban at public housing units across the country is unfair.

The smoking ban to be announced by The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is to be implemented within the next 18 months at public housing complexes like those run by the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, or CMHA.

The ban calls for no smoking in any public housing unit or within 25 feet of the property.

Residents caught smoking after receiving warnings from property management could be evicted.

CMHA residents like Capri Taylor told News 5 she believes the smoking ban is unfair and could be tough on families.

"I don't think they should lose their home for that," said Taylor.

"There are too many people out here with families, and they have to consider that."

"I love to abide by the rules or whatever.  But to tell you the truth, you really can't tell a person what they can and can't do on their own property, and they're paying rent and everything."

CMHA spokesperson Cortney Crockett told News 5 CMHA will work slowly with residents during the transition to a smoke-free environment.

CMHA will host a series of public meetings in the coming months and is already offering programs to help residents kick the habit.

"The goal is not to evict people, we want to work with residents, and make this transition as smooth as possible," said Crockett.

Crockett said a large number of CMHA residents at their 60 Cuyahoga County properties are in favor of the smoking ban.

HUD and CMHA believe the health benefits of the ban will far outweigh the difficulties during the 18-month transition.

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