Monday, March 15, 2010

Smoking Ban in Public Housing to Be Discussed (UPDATED)


Nearly a year after it was first proposed, the Council’s Committee on Public Health, Safety and Environment will take up Tom Furey’s proposed smoking ban on public housing in the city.

I loathe and despise the habit but as I said when Tom first proposed it, it’s bad law.  And it’s condescending, encouraging people to think that “poor” (or low-income as the people in my building are) are “bad”.  (If they have money they must be “good” or at least, well, “it’s their money they can do whatever they want with it!”)

Whatever your views on smoking, if you live in public housing and have an opinion, please show up at the meeting.  

Tuesday, 6:30 PM in the Council chambers.  (I can’t be there myself due to other commitments.)

UPDATE:  Last night, the proposal was DOA.


Earlier, Furey said that living in taxpayer-supported public housing was "not a right and an entitlement, but a privilege and a responsibility."

OK, Tom, what’s the next rung down?  The poorhouse?  The homeless shelter?  I have been in public housing for 25 years.  Yes that makes me lazy and irresponsible.  Glad to hear it and will try to uplift myself and my neighbors right away.

Some other comments from the 101st Chairborne, Salem News Regiment:


They have money for smokes because their rent, health care and food costs are largely taken care of by the taxpayer leaving plenty of splash cash.

OK, pretend it’s your mom or dad in my building.  They probably are.  A lot of middle-class people use their parents as tax shelters.  They won’t want their inheritance wiped out by housing when Dad can’t live in the family homestead anymore.  So they’ll have Mom spend down her personal assets and file for Medicaid.

And public housing.  It’s not far from the truth to say that elderly housing is no less a subsidy to middle-class boomers with aging parents, and to old boomers themselves, than it is to dissipated people like myself.

In this economy, and even before, many who would think they were too proud to consider public assistance have come to plead for it. 

And, once they have it, invent justifications for why they are more deserving for public assistance than those “others”.

Meanwhile, in buildings like the Jefferson built by the private sector, you can smoke as thou wilt.   Considering the build quality of that complex, the first tenant to sleep in bed with a smoke may likely be the last one!  (It was, after all, a disposed lit cigarette that destroyed an entire apartment building in Peabody.) 

Not sure about you, Tom, but I am for sure “morally” concerned about that.  As much as I hate the Jefferson, a fire in that complex will be catastrophic and my schadenfreude doesn’t extend to seeing body bags carried out of a smoking crater across the street from me.

Where’s your outrage?  You didn’t think that far ahead when that project was green-lighted in the Usovicz administration?

Now you can grandstand about public housing and personal responsibility. 


Get your head out of your ass.

1 comment:

abl11 said...

The thing is, your right to smoke - in any type of apartment, condominium, or shared type of housing - ceases when smoke begins to seep into another unit.

We actually wrote a smoking ban into the condo docs of my building in Salem and I couldn't be happier, having previously been forced to suffer with a living room smelling like an ashtray due to some one in another unit smoking.

I think a ban on smoking in public housing would be great for all of those nonsmokers who are being subjected to cancer in their homes, through no choice of their own. Don't they have a right to live in a smoke-free residence?

I would not be surprised if you begin to see more buildings - public housing through luxury apartment buildings - become smoke free. In fact, the brand new archstone apartments in Boston near north station are advertising "smoke free building" as a way to drum up occupancy.