Mixed reaction about smoking rule enforcement at Blair public housing

Mixed reaction about smoke rule enforcement at Blair public housing

Mary Fitch is just now moving into a new apartment unit in the same complex, and she says it's all because of secondhand smoke.

"I would have ended in the hospital again if I had stayed in my old apartment, that's what three different doctors told me that," said Fitch, who's a longtime resident of the Blair Housing Authority at Parkview Manor.

She says she's been asking to move for more than a year and a half, and says the cigarette smoke had been coming from inside a neighbor's apartment.

It's something not allowed at Blair public housing.

"My alarm was going on constantly and the head honcho over there told me I should just knock on [the neighbor's] door," said Fitch.

FOX42's Steve Saunders interviewed neighbor Keri Raymond who said she herself had never smoked inside the apartment unit.

According to the Housing Authority's website, all units became smoke free in 2015.

"The rules are the rules here," said Keri Raymond, who lived next door to Fitch. "They enforce them well."

Fitch disagrees, and she wrote down each time she smelled smoke.

"I thought this this will be definite proof, but it didn't seem to help at the office," said Fitch, "I don't think they should be allowed to smoke on the grounds actually."

"I have the right to smoke until April 1st and I'm not giving it up for one person," said Dee, a resident who was smoking outside and would not give us her last name. "I'm not doing it. I'm not smoking in the unit. That's been taken out. But i'm not giving up smoking outside until I have to."

Next year, national HUD rules will require smokers to be at least 25 feet away from every building.

We asked Fitch why she wants to stay at Parkview, rather than moving to a complex that's already smoke free.

"This is home," she said. "It's been my home for 15 years. I have a lot of friends here."

We did reach out to Attorney Geore Achola who represents the Blair Housing Authority. Our phone calls were not returned.

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