'I can't breathe': Yonkers woman says apartment is smoke-filled despite ban

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YONKERS -

A Yonkers woman says her apartment feels like it’s surrounded by smoke, even though it’s in a public housing building where smoking is illegal.            

Risa Spindler has lived in Section 8 Yonkers Municipal Housing on Curran Court for two years, and says secondhand smoke has always been an issue. Last year, it became federal law for all public housing to be smoke-free. The Curran Court property has no-smoking signs and designated smoking areas with benches.

But Spindler tells News 12 that residents are ignoring the law and that she and many other tenants can smell smoke from other units in their apartments.

Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader says he does not believe the Municipal Housing Authority is purposely turning a blind eye, but suggests its leaders are unaware of the magnitude of the issue. He says the city needs better enforcement of local and federal law.

Other residents allegedly did not come forward out of fear they could be evicted.

Khader says he hears this too often. He says he wants residents to know that no tenant in Yonkers can ever be evicted for speaking up about issues with a landlord or property, as long as they are following their lease agreement.

News 12 reached out the city's Municipal Housing for comment and is awaiting a response.

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