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The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing
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The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing

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The Coalition presented at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health in August 2012 on the case for smoke-free public housing in partnership with smoke-free housing advocates from Minnesota and …

The Coalition presented at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health in August 2012 on the case for smoke-free public housing in partnership with smoke-free housing advocates from Minnesota and Oregon

Published in: Health & Medicine, Travel
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  • Smoke-free housing policies are not only a good public health tool but are embraced by the housing industry because they save landlords money
  • Due to strong smoke-free workplace and public place laws across the country, we know that much of the exposure to SHS is occurring in the homeThose with lower incomes and living in subsidized or public housing have many fewer options to move if they are exposed to their neighbor’s smoke and need to be protected through the adoption of smoke-free policies.
  • Policy can be implemented through a lease addendum as long asthe provision is considered “reasonable.” Policy can also beimplemented through house rules. (HUD Occupancy Handbook)• A 30 day comment period is required before implementation, butHUD reviewing the policy is not
  • Transcript

    • 1. The Case for Smoke-Free Public Housing August 16, 2012 National Conference on Tobacco or Health
    • 2. Who we are The Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine is a non-profit organization comprised of more than 50 public health advocates, tenants, landlords, property managers, environmental health professionals, legal professionals and many others supporting and advocating for voluntary smoke-free housing policies.An initiative of the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine, funded by the Partnership For A Tobacco-Free Maine, Maine CDC/DHHS.
    • 3. Breathe Easy, You’re in Maine Who has adopted a voluntary policies: • 100% Public Housing Authorities • 2 of 5 Tribal Housing Authorities • 48% of Private Landlords/Property Managers Also: • Secondhand smoke landlord disclosure law • 1-pt incentive given for policy in Maine’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program Application • SF designation given on MaineHousing’s MUH Registry
    • 4. What We Know about MUH and SHS There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) says that “the only means of effectively eliminating health risks associated with indoor exposure is to ban smoking activity.” Smoking-related fires are the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States.US Surgeon General, 2010; ASHRAE, 2008; USFA, 2010
    • 5. Why Should Property Owners/Managers Adopt 100% Smoke-Free Policies?• Fire Danger• Property Damage• Turnover savings• Insurance savings• Happier & healthier tenants• Liability
    • 6. Smoke-Free Policies Save Money Studies have shown that unit turnover costs are 2-7 times more expensive when smoking was allowed in the unit. Some insurance companies will award discounts on comprehensive fire casualty plans for being 100% smoke-free.
    • 7. But is Smoke-Free Housing Legal?• Smoking is a personal choice and an addiction.• There is no law that protects an individual’s ability to smoke.• Smoking is not a legally protected activity.• Nothing prevents a landlord or employer from prohibiting smoking on property.
    • 8. In fact…• Tenants negatively impacted by secondhand smoke actually have the right to seek legal action against tenants or landlords who do not make adequate provisions to protect them from secondhand smoke.• Under American Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act.
    • 9. In fact…• Persons cannot be discriminated against in workplaces, public places or in housing due to disability; severe breathing problems constitutes a disability.• Facilities are required to provide reasonable accommodations to persons with severe breathing disabilities, including possibly making the facility totally smoke-free.
    • 10. Growing Support for SFH
    • 11. Growing Support for SFH: HUD
    • 12. Who is going SF?• Public and Tribal Housing Authorities• Private Developments (both subsidized and market-rate)• “Mom and Pop” landlords• Condominium Associations• Group Homes and Transitional Housing Developments• Behavioral Health Facilities• Nursing and Assisted Living Facilities
    • 13. Smoke-Free Housing: A Changing NormWhere were we in 2000? Virtually no smoke-free apartments could be found in in the U.S. in market-rate or affordable housing Most apartment owners & many HUD officials thought it was illegal to have a smoke-free policy Many newspapers thought it was illegal to allow ads saying “no smoking” or “SF” Most tenants didn’t realize they had some rights to smoke-free housing
    • 14. Smoke-Free Housing: A Changing NormWhere are we now? Hundreds of thousands of units of market-rate and subsidized housing are smoke-free all across the U.S.  Includes large, multi-state companies, moderate sized companies, small companies, and single-family home rentals. Public Housing Authorities Are Going Smoke-Free  2000: 3 PHAs nationally  2005: 32 PHAs nationally  Today: 300+ PHAs smoke-free nationally in 27+ states
    • 15. SF Public Housing in Maine2012: 100% of Maine PHAs are smoke-free 20 19 18 18 14 11 7 2 12004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
    • 16. Why the Focus on Public Housing? What is Public Housing?  Publically-owned safe, quality, affordable housing for eligible low- income people, such as families, elderly, disabled and handicapped Who Lives in Public Housing?  Residents are often low-income, people of color, recent immigrants, chemically dependent, and/or mentally ill The percentage of nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke continues to decrease BUT low-income persons are exposed at much higher rates: 1999-2000 2007-08 Below poverty level: 71.6% 60.5% At/above poverty level: 48.8% 36.9% (CDC MMWR, September 2010) Creating smoke-free public housing authorities is a great way to reduce this involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke!
    • 17. Tips for Connecting with PHAs Find your state, local and regional PHAs: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_i ndian_housing/pha/contacts Connect with State Housing Authority – attend partner meetings, exhibit & present at conferences. Build Allies in the subsidized housing industry – turn those who are already smoke-free into your champions. Direct mail and earned media can be useful tools in gaining acceptance for SFH in your community.
    • 18. SFH Policy Implementation Steps1. Make a plan. Start by creating a plan to make the entire residence smoke-free. Gather support/survey tenants. Do not grandfather tenants.2. Hold a Meeting. Explain benefits that a smoke-free building will bring them(safety and health). Gather with tenants to discuss the change. There may beresistance, but remember, non-smoking tenants have rights under theirleases, too.3. Inform Tenants. Review the legal information concerning your rights andyour tenants rights- be clear with them about the timeline & policy. Properlyprepare everyone – keep it positive.4. Amend New Leases. Change the language of your lease to include your newsmoke-free policy. When new tenants sign on, your policy will be crystal clear.5. Promote Your Status. Begin advertising your smoke-free status to gain newtenants who appreciate a clean air environment.
    • 19. For More Information Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine  www.smokefreeforme.org  info@smokefreeforme.org  (207)874-8774  Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/breatheeasymaine  View past presentations: www.slideshare.net/breatheeasy

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