A new policy by the Columbia Housing Authority will fine residents smoking indoors. The new fee went into effect yesterday.
Instead of two warnings followed by eviction, residents will be fined $50 for smoking indoors after the first notice. Termination of the lease is still the result of the third violation.
Columbia Housing Authority CEO Phil Steinhaus hopes that the new policy discourages residents rather than burden them. ""We hope it's a deterrent... after people get caught the first time," he said.
According to Steinhaus if residents are not able to pay the fee "in a month or two," it is possible to be evicted as a result.
After the first warning residents are offered resources to help manage or quit their smoking habit. A total of 951 people live in these public and affordable housing properties.