Frequently Asked Public Housing Questions

Can I smoke in my apartment?

Under HUD regulations, smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes will not be allowed in apartments, public areas or within 25 feet of Public Housing buildings. At this time the smoking ban does not apply to e-cigarettes, nor to HUD properties that participate in housing programs other than Public Housing.

You may or may not be able to smoke in your affordable housing unit; depending on the policy of the housing authority, property management company, or landlord that manages your unit.

  • Public Housing residents may not smoke on premises as of July 31, 2018. More information about that ruling can be found here.
  • If you are a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher tenant, that policy is set by your landlord. The smoking policy should be identified on your lease.
  • For other housing programs, some housing agencies let its residents smoke, while others do not. The smoking policy should be identified on your lease for these programs, as well.

If a housing agency does have a no-smoking policy, there may be designated smoking areas outside. Also, it's important to note that no-smoking policies do not mean that residents who smoke will be evicted. But they will be not be allowed to smoke on premise.

Contact the housing authority, property management company, or landlord that manages your unit to confirm the smoking policy. You can use the search bar at the top of this page to search for housing authority and apartment community contact information.


Is there a universal nationwide waiting list for Section 8 and Public Housing?

There is no universal nationwide waiting list for any affordable housing program.

Section 8 and Public Housing waiting lists are managed by Public Housing Authorities, which serve a specific jurisdiction at the local level, whether it is on a city or county-wide basis. There are very few housing authorities that manage a waiting list for an entire state, and if they do, there tends to be a separate waiting list for each county. The only single state-wide Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list we are aware of is the Massachusetts Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Centralized Waiting List; but not all housing authorities in the state are participants and manage their own waiting list instead.

You can find information on how to apply to open Section 8 waiting lists nationwide here, and open Public Housing waiting lists here.