November2012 - MaineHousing QAP Requires Smoke-Free Policy Press Release
The Smoke-Free Housing Coalition is pleased to announce that MaineHousing has decided to include the adoption of a smoke-free policy as part of the threshold requirements for the 2013 Qualified Allocation Plan (Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program). Maine is the first state in the nation to take this stance to protect residents of these properties from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - November2012 - MaineHousing QAP Requires Smoke-Free Policy Press Release
Press ReleaseFor immediate releaseNovember 1, 2012Contact: Tina Pettingill, Chair, Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine207.730.1040 or email@example.com MaineHousing requires secondhand smoke protection for low-income tenants Maine becomes first state in nation to require protection of tenants from secondhand smoke in new unitsAugusta- MaineHousing has decided that all future units built and financed by the state’s Low Income Housing TaxCredit will be required to be100% smoke-free. Smoke-free apartments benefit both tenants and landlords. The MaineState Housing Authority (MaineHousing) has recognized that allowing smoking inside of buildings can cause tenants tosuffer illness and poor health and that the cost of rehabbing a unit is a waste of money since the damage is preventable.“Creating and maintaining 100% smoke-free multi-unit buildings are a proven cost-savings strategy for all involved.Research in Maine and across the country found that landlord changeover expenses for smoke-free apartments are 5-10times less expensive than units that allow smoking. This is equivalent to thousands of dollars per unit at turnover - asubstantial savings,” Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine Coordinator Sarah Mayberry remarked.When MaineHousing and the Governor adopted the 2013 Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP), they made Maine the firststate in the nation to require that all projects funded by MaineHousing’s QAP protect their residents from secondhandsmoke by being 100% smoke-free. MaineHousing’s QAP, the state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) programapplication, is released each year, describing how applicants will qualify for the highly competitive LIHTCs allocated byMaineHousing. The 2013 QAP requires that all applicants have a written 100% non-smoking policy in all units andcommon areas as a threshold requirement, rather than a scoring incentive.For the past five years, MaineHousing has included a one-point incentive in the plan for applicants who chose to create a100% smoke-free building. In those years, all but one applicant chose to create a 100% smoke-free policy. “This highlevel of volunteer participation demonstrates the willingness and commitment of QAP applicants to create fire-safe,cost-efficient buildings which save taxpayers and owners money in the short and long-term. We applaudMaineHousing’s commissioners and staff for recognizing this fact and implementing this policy as a requirement of QAPapplicants,” says Tina Pettingill, Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine Chair.One hundred percent smoke-free policies protect tenants and property by reducing the risk of fire. Cigarettes are amain source of fire death in Maine and the cause of multiple fires each year in multi-unit rentals, costing ownersthousands of dollars and tenants to be displaced. Creating a 100% smoke-free environment within a multi-unit buildingcan also result in significant property-casualty insurance savings. Many insurance companies consider a 100% smoke-free policy as part of a comprehensive fire-safe policy and will offer policy premium savings for owners. “Secondhand smoke exposure in multi-unit housing is a major health issue for everyone but especially those withchronic illnesses like asthma and lung disease,” states Ed Miller, Vice President for Public Policy in the Augusta office of Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine • 389 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101 • (207)874-8774 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.smokefreeforme.org
the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “Secondhand smoke does not stay within an apartment. It spreadsthroughout the entire building and puts all tenants at risk. We commend the Governor and MaineHousing for providingleadership in protecting tenants.”The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has released notices supporting smoke-free policies for PublicHousing in 2009 and for subsidized housing in 2010. These notices state the dangers of exposure to secondhand smokeand the proven hazard to physical structures, including fire danger, as reasons HUD strongly encourages the adoption ofsmoke-free housing policies by public housing, section 8 and tribal housing. “A healthy home is a smoke-free home,”said Jon Gant, Director of HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control. “Maine was the first state in whichall public housing authorities implemented smoke-free housing policies. HUD is pleased to see them lead thenation once again on this important issue by requiring that all recipients of low income housing tax credits createsmoke-free multi-unit housing.”For the full QAP document- http://www.mainehousing.org/docs/qap/clean-final-low-income-housing-tax-credit-rule.pdf?Status=Master **********************************************The Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine is a non-profit coalition supported by the federal grant from the Center forDisease Control and Prevention that funds the Partnership For A Tobacco-Free Maine, the Maine CDC’s tobaccoprevention and control program. The coalition is comprised of over 50 public health advocates, tenants, landlords,property managers, legal professionals, environmental health professionals and many others working since 2004 toprotect Maine residents in multi-unit housing from involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke. The Coalition providesfree technical assistance and tools for adopting, implementing and enforcing smoke-free policies in multi-unit propertiesthroughout Maine. To learn more, please visit us at www.smokefreeforme.org or contact the Smoke-Free HousingCoalition at (207)874-8774 or email@example.com. Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine • 389 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101 • (207)874-8774 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.smokefreeforme.org