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Housing authority celebrates smoke-free public housing policy

Post Date:June 25, 2018 7:00 a.m.

smoke-free-public-housing-policy-celebrationThe St. Louis Park Housing Authority received recognition from Rose Hauge of Live Smoke Free, a smoke free multi-housing program, for adopting a public housing smoke-free policy. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development requires all public housing authorities implement smoke-free policies by July 30, 2018.

The policy bans the use of prohibited tobacco products in all public housing living units, indoor common areas in public housing and all outdoor areas up to 25 feet from the building. The policy aims to improve indoor air quality in housing; benefit the health of public housing residents, visitors and housing authority staff; reduce the risk of catastrophic fires; and lower overall maintenance costs.

The St. Louis Park policy went into effect on June 1, 2018. A brief celebration was held the same day at Hamilton House, the housing authority’s 110-unit public housing apartment building. The housing authority’s 37 public housing single-family homes are also covered by the policy. Residents who volunteered to serve on a policy review committee held and cut a banner of a mock cigarette to indicate the new smoke-free status. Housing authority staff Joe Wellentin, Michele Schnitker, Oi Mattison and Tanya Warren, along with Resident Opportunities for Self Sufficiency coordinator Katy Molinare, celebrated this achievement along with the residents.