Lewiston Housing Authority needs to be more sensitive to the burdens of low-income people and needs to realize the people living in LHA units have personal, individual hardships and needs.

LHA tenants are elderly, handicapped in some way, are veterans and are low-income retirees. They have worked, raised families, fought for their country; have experienced and suffered life-changing medical conditions — now all they ask is not to be denied their rights, nor those few pleasures in life they are still able to, and want to, enjoy.

However, at Blake Street Towers, the LHA has mandated that residents cannot smoke in their apartments.

Residents are now supposed to go outside to smoke, at least 25 feet from the building, or smoke in an designated outdoor area. No thought, however, was given toward the safety of the tenants, or the accessibility of the smoking area to those smokers who are physically impaired. (Falls and injuries have already resulted.)

No thought, as well, was given to weather conditions that would need to be endured and suffered through. The designated smoking area is also located in a public right-of-way, which makes it unsafe, especially during night hours.

I am a resident of Blake Street Towers. I signed my lease on Sept. 24, 2008, yet six days later, was told I could no longer smoke in my apartment. I was not advised the complex was going smoke free. I would not have spent the money to move here if I had known.

Arthur L. Wanninger, Lewiston

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