More apartments going smoke-free

WCPOPublished: September 12, 2017
Published: September 12, 2017

Over the last year, the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority transitioned all of its properties to non-smoking.  The CMHA rolled out its plan in anticipation of a non-smoking policy issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development earlier this year. Federal officials estimate the cost savings will be in the millions for things like maintenance, reduced fire risk and health. If caught, CMHA residents will get a warning. CEO Gregory Johnson said they have not had to propose anyone for eviction for smoking yet. "You're not saying that 'I can't be a smoker and live here.' It's just the not smoking in your unit," he said. Even some non-HUD units are "kicking the habit." Saratoga Apartments in Newport are going smoke-free by this time next year. But right now, 44 percent are smokers. Joe Rowe, facilities director for the Brighton Center, said the smoked-in units have yellowing cabinets and burn stains in the carpet. "So, we were just looking into overall health and wellbeing of the community," Rowe said. "While we're not a HUD project, we agree with HUD's approach to being a smoke-free facility." Several other Northern Kentucky are also implementing non-smoking plans.  The CMHA is working with the American Lung Association to offer free classes to residents trying to quit.

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