Veteran could be evicted for smoking - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Veteran could be evicted for smoking

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An 89-year-old Newington World War II veteran is facing eviction from his apartment and it's all because he says he wasn't smoking far enough away from his building. 

The managers of Cedar Village Elderly Housing Complex said Andrew Nowicki, who is a Purple Heart recipient, is violating policy by smoking too close to his building.

Nowicki, who has trouble walking, has lived at Cedar Village for the past 20 years and the prospect of moving at his age is something he said he really can't even fathom.

"As I'm living day to day, I just hang in there," Nowicki said.

A quiet smoke is one of the few things that he looks forward to.

"I just sit in here and hope I get a good lunch," Nowicki said.

His lawyer said the building's management recently changed the rules requiring smokers to be at least 10 feet away from the building.

"He doesn't smoke in the house at all. He smokes in the breezeway or right outside the door," said state Sen. Paul Doyle (D-Wethersfield). "But, it's not within their 10 feet rule. So they are going to evict Mr. Nowicki from the premise for smoking."

Nowicki, who is on oxygen, said he has done the best he can on his scooter, but sometimes he could only make it to a breezeway outside his apartment. And that apparently got the eviction proceedings this summer.

"My first court appearance in 90 years, the day before 90 years," Nowicki said.

Cedar Village is run by the Newington Housing Authority.

Nowicki's lawyer said the Newington Housing Authority told them it can't change the rules.

However,Nowicki is apparently not alone.

Marylou Balula Told Eyewitness the Newington Housing Authority just began eviction proceedings against her elderly father for the same thing as Nowicki and insists her father also tried to follow the rules as best he could.

"It doesn't make sense," Balula said.

Eyewitness News could not reach the Newington Housing Authority for a comment.

Nowicki is due in housing court next month.

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