BY JAMES HARPER
Daytona Beach Housing Authority residents living in Windsor and Maley Apartments, Palmetto Park, Caroline Village, Northwood Village, Walnut Oak, Villages at Halifax, Lakeside Village and Pine Haven risk fees and eviction if caught smoking inside their housing units.
As first reported in the Daytona Times on Sept. 5, effective Oct. 1 all Housing Authority properties within the public housing program will be designated as non-smoking.
According to a memo obtained by the Daytona Times, smoking is not permitted inside a building or unit. Smoking is not permitted within 25 feet of any Housing Authority building.
Certain properties, such as high-rise locations, may have designated smoking areas with signs posted. Other properties are spread over large areas, so the 25-foot rule applies.
The Housing Authority may designate areas for smoking. If a resident is uncertain of the smoking area for their property, he or she should check with property management staff.
The procedure for those who violate the policy is:
First violation: Verbal-written warning and document incident in tenant file.
Second violation: Mandatory meeting with management, document information in tenant file, seven-day curable drafted and referred to client services for follow up.
Third violation: A mandatory meeting with management, document information in tenant file, 30-day non curable issued and eviction filed. Resident will be offered a voluntary compliance agreement (VCA).
If the resident agree to the VCA it must be signed and filed with the court. The case will be dismissed after 12 consecutive months of compliance. Resident must complete an approved free smoking cessation class.
Fourth violation: Resident is under a VCA. By way of a family member or guest(s) violating the non-smoking policy, they have violated the VCA. An affidavit will be filed by management and the eviction process will be completed and a writ issued. Resident will be required to pay all attorney fees and court cost(s).
Smoking is also not permitted inside office buildings or near entrance doors into the office buildings.
The central office may have a designated smoking area with sign posted on the north side of the office building. Otherwise the 25-foot rule applies.
Quit smoking program aids
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has encouraged housing authorities since 2009 to adopt smoke-free housing.
Assistant deputy director of the Daytona Beach Housing Mae Frances Davis noted that new potential public housing clients who are smokers, who meet all regular requirements, will still be able to move into their residences.
“The (application) policy will be same for all – no discrimination,” she said.
Davis said residents interested in quitting smoking are being referred to the Volusia County Health Department, which has programs and aids for those interested in quitting.
She said residents have known since March 2012 that a smoking ban was going to be instituted this year.