SCP Housing Authority to phase in implementation of no smoking rule

To All SCPHA Residents:

On Jan. 18, 2017, the first notice was sent to residents expressing the intent of the St. Charles Parish Housing Authority to establish a mandated “Smoke Free Policy and Environment within 18 months. Smoking will be prohibited throughout all public housing properties, in the units and within 25 feet of SCPHA buildings or other properties. The Final Rule: “Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing” was issued Dec. 5, 2016 under the 24 Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 965 and 966 and a SCPHA Board of Commissioners’ Resolution #17-01-24-42 passed Jan. 24, 2017.

As a followup to that letter, the St. Charles Parish Housing Authority has scheduled a public meeting to discuss the features of the proposed SCPHA Policy and to provide information and resources to help residents to stop smoking. We recognize that for many to stop a habit that has been going on for years will be difficult. Because of that, we need time to adjust to this new way of living in public housing. It is emphasized that HUD is not prohibiting smoking or the use of smoking paraphernalia etc., but has banned smoking on all public housing properties. Residents are encouraged to work with SCPHA to make this a reality. For many it will be very difficult, but together we will make it easier.

A Spring General Discussion Meeting is scheduled to begin publicly discussing this issue. This HUD mandate is unfunded and must be established using the housing authority’s existing resources. The meeting will be held at 10 a.m., March 7 at the Edward A. Dufresne Community Center, 274 Judge Edward Dufresne Parkway in Luling. At this meeting, guests and resource personnel will present some examples of available help to assist residents in making this transition.

The new rule does not and will not prohibit residents from smoking. It will prohibit smoking in or near public housing property. Please contact the SCPHA Office with all concerns (985-785-2601).

Benjamin R. Bell, Executive Director