May 31, 2013 in City, Health

SNAP housing will go smoke-free

Change for area’s 300 units due to take effect Aug. 1
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners will follow the lead of other low-income housing providers in the city by asking residents to not smoke in their properties beginning Aug. 1.

Residents of SNAP’s 15 properties throughout the city will be asked to sign an addendum to their lease that requires all smoking to be done outdoors and at least 25 feet away from doors, windows and intake air vents. The ban includes cigarettes, cigars, marijuana and other tobacco products and seeks to reduce tenants’ exposure to secondhand smoke.

Amber Boice, director of mission support at SNAP, said the group’s policy is designed to offer low-income renters the same nonsmoking housing options those with higher incomes enjoy.

“It’s time for affordable housing to catch up with the nonsmoking market trend,” Boice said.

The Spokane Housing Authority instituted a similar ban in its properties and common areas in May 2011. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development began encouraging public-housing smoking bans in 2009.

“After the Housing Authority made the change, we saw how successful it was for them and how well it was received by their residents,” Boice said.

The lease addendum SNAP residents will be asked to sign includes a warning that violating the policy could be grounds for eviction. SNAP developed the smoking ban with its partner, Everett-based Coast Real Estate Services, which manages the roughly 300 units the organization owns in Spokane.

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