HUD Announces New Smoke-Free Housing Tools

HUD, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and health advocates recently 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 to protect residents from the dangers of second-hand smoke and to reduce property maintenance costs.

The toolkits developed by HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC) and partnering agencies provide housing owners/managers and residents with user-friendly information related to the adoption of smoke-free housing policies such as a guide to implementing no-smoking policies, a sample resident survey, frequently asked questions, and other useful resources. The residents' kit includes a going smoke-free guide, a home smoke-free pledge kit, and additional education materials about second-hand smoke.

Additionally, the new toolkits advise private owners and public housing authorities to:

· Advertise units as non-smoking to attract tenants who either don't smoke or smoke outside only;

· 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.