The Board of Commissioners at Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) on the meeting last week discussed the possibility to prohibit use of tobacco throughout its apartments and homes and introduce a free–to–low cost Internet access program for its residents.
Totally in PHA homes live around 80,000 residents. With the new initiative it would join other 500 housing units in the USA having the policies banning use of tobacco in at least a few of their dwellings.
The authority board’s decision comes as a result of pressure of Department of Housing and Urban Development to adopt a smoke-free policy for housing residents.
Department of Housing and Urban Development encoureages public housing agencies since 2009 to make their buildings smoke-free in order to protect their residents from secondhand smoke effects. Today it encourages federally assisted multifamily property owners to go smoke–free.
Report by U.S. Surgeon General suggests that there is no safe level of inhaling secondhand smoke and any amount would have negative effects on the body. Most vulnerable to tobacco smoke are kids, elderly and people with chronic respiratory diseases.
One more important intitiative to impelement by the Philadelphia Housing Authority is to provide free internet access to low-income families. This would occur in the course of ConnectHome federal initiative launched by the Obama Administration with the aim to make Internet accessible for everyone, because studies show that most low-income families have computers without Internet.