Bryan Public Housing looks at banning smoking in units

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - People who live in public housing in Bryan may soon not be able to light up and having a new reason to quit smoking.

The Bryan Housing Authority is working on implementing federal rules that ban smoking inside units.

It would affect all five or their properties around town.

"It would definitely be a benefit for my kids you know they all have allergies and smoking is one of them so none of us smoke in our household or in our families," said Adelita Newman, a Bryan Resident.

She lives in public housing on Jordan Loop.

"Other kids that are around here especially the little ones that tend to want to pick stuff up and put them in their mouth you know I think that that would be good," she added.

Other neighbors like James Washington disagree. He's lived here 9 years.

"I don't think it's right because I mean I don't smoke and I don't know if my neighbor's smoke or anything else. I mean how would they know about abandoning our units for no smoking?," Washington said.

The rules also require designated smoking areas be 25 feet away from buildings. The Bryan Housing Authority tells us they wouldn't have the space to allow people to smoke outside.

"I think it’s bad because people that live here now coming in the people know it’s smoke free then it’s their choice whether they want to live here or not, but the people that are here now smoking I don’t think it’s right because now they’re going to have to move if they want to smoke in their apartments," said Shelly Cain, a Bryan Housing Authority Board Member.

Tuesday the Bryan Housing Authority met to talk about the upcoming rules from Housing and Urban Development.

There's currently a freeze on implementing those rules with the transition of Donald Trump as President.

Board Chairman Marquette Hixon is a former smoker herself.

"As the result of my smoking I have you know Diabetes 2... I do feel like if people feel they need to smoke I feel like that is a liberty that they should have however we have to realize that it is not a protected class," she said.

For residents and their visitors like Calvin Ward, the smoking ban is getting talked about.

"I mean I would follow it. Yes sir," Ward said.

The housing authority plans to review the rules again in about 60 days.

Once adopted they'd have 18 months to notify residents and put up signs.

Residents could then potentially be evicted after receiving warnings for smoking.