The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and several health advocates, launched a new set of tools to encourage and guide private owners of federally assisted multifamily housing and public housing authorities to adopt smoke-free policies. Such policies both protect residents from the dangers of second-hand smoke and reduce property maintenance costs.
Multifamily housing managers and owners, including public housing authorities, can use the new Smoke-Free Housing Toolkits to promote healthier housing on their properties. The owner’s toolkit includes HUD’s guidance, as well as a how-to guide to implementing no-smoking policies, a sample resident survey, frequently asked questions and other useful resources. In addition, HUD also developed a residents’ kit to help promote smoke-free apartment living.
Additionally, the new toolkits advise private landlords and public housing authorities to:
- Advertise units as non-smoking to attract tenants who either don’t smoke or only smoke outside;
- Talk to prospective tenants about their smoke-free policy when showing the property;
- Include no-smoking policies in lease agreements and read through the rule with tenants as they sign their lease;
- Display no-smoking signage in buildings and on the property;
- Consider partnering with organizations to offer smoking cessation support to residents;
- Inform tenants that if they smoke in their units, they will be financially responsible for the costs of restoring the unit;
- Use the same warning/enforcement methods for smoke-free rule violations used for any other lease infractions; and
- Visit and inspect properties regularly.
For the full version of the smoke-free toolkit, please visit http://1.usa.gov/N6VeKP.