Public & Subsidized Housing

Public housing authorities, also known as community development authorities or housing and redevelopment authorities, are leading the way in the adoption of smoke-free policies for multi-unit properties. Hundreds of public housing authorities across the country have adopted some form of smoking restricted policy. For information on the types of federally-subsidized housing, read more at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Due to the contribution of federal funds that make the rents affordable, these properties are subject to additional requirements for implementing and enforcing smoke-free policies when compared with completely market rent buildings. Generally, more review is required before implementation of a policy, and additional checks are in place if violations of property leases occur.

On November 30, 2016, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that public housing developments in the U.S. will now be required to provide a smoke-free environment for their residents. HUD's new rule will provide resources and support to more than 3,100 Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) across the country to implement required smoke-free policies by mid-2018. Read HUD's press release on the final rule.

Throughout 2016, HUD worked with PHAs and stakeholders collaboratively to finalize this rule, which no longer allows the use of “prohibited tobacco products” such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and waterpipes (hookah) in all living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative office buildings. HUD's final rule included input from PHAs, housing and health partners, and tenant advocates.


Featured resources are below. Other relevant resources in right sidebar (desktop/tablet), or end of page (mobile).

HUD Final Smoke-Free Rule

HUD's Rule to Restrict Smoking in Public Housing: An Overview (2017)

On November 30, 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a final rule to restrict smoking in public housing. This fact sheet provides an overview of the rule’s smoking restrictions.

HUD Rule Webinar

Webinar: HUD’s Rule Restricting Smoking in Public Housing (2016)

Staff from HUD, NAHRO, and the Public Health Law Center will discuss the contents of HUD’s rule, tips for effective implementation of the rule, and ways public housing authorities can go beyond the requirements of the rule to protect public health.

HUD Rule

Comments to HUD on Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing (2016)

Public comments submitted by the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium to HUD on their proposed smoke-free public housing rule.