Some big changes may be coming in the next couple years for some tenants in public housing.

Speaking on December 17 edition of the weekly local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up, Broome County Health Department Public Health Educator- Tobacco Control Program, Sharon Fischer outlines new Housing and Urban Development policy that would mandate that all public housing authorities adopt a smoke free policy.

Fischer says the policy would affect the Binghamton Housing Authority if it makes it through Congress.

The guidelines still allows smokers to live in public housing, but smoking would only be allowed in designated space outside the building.

Fischer says keeping smoking out of the apartments is important since second hand smoke can seep into other units through the walls, outlets, pipes and other fixtures, posing potential harm to others.

More on the guidelines, including responsibilities of building managers, can be learned by going to www.tobaccofreenys.org or by calling Fischer at (607) 778-3068.

Southern Tier Close Up is heard Sundays at 6 a.m. on 98.1 The Hawk.