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Published: Monday, 12/30/2013 - Updated: 2 years ago

Smoking bans expand across region

7 LMHA sites debut policy Wednesday

The Parqwood Apartments, 2125 Parkwood Ave., are among the housing complexes that will be smoke-free beginning Wednesday. The Parqwood Apartments, 2125 Parkwood Ave., are among the housing complexes that will be smoke-free beginning Wednesday.

Seven public housing complexes managed by the Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority will make their smoke-free debuts on Wednesday.

The tobacco-free policy adopted by the housing authority’s board of directors in June follows a recommendation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development urging public housing authorities as well as the owners and managers of multifamily housing rental assistance programs to prohibit smoking in their properties, said Ivory Mathews, LMHA executive deputy director.

“HUD has encouraged housing authorities across the country to begin working with its tenants and community partners, such as health departments, to work on getting residents to take a look at going into smoking-cessation classes,” Mrs. Mathews said.

The change affects about 850 of the 3,100 units managed by LMHA, which operates 25 public housing developments in the county. Mrs. Mathews said three to four dozen housing authorities in the county have implemented some level of smoking ban in housing units.

Under the new policy, smoking is not permitted in any rooms of apartments and common areas in the buildings. Areas outside the buildings on LMHA property are designated for smoking for residents.

The housing developments are not the first affected by the smoking ban. The recently constructed Collingwood Green, a 65-unit senior housing complex on Division Street, opened last year as a smoke-free facility.

The public housing complexes going smoke-free are:

● Glendale Terrace, 3200 Glendale Ave.

● Robert Dorrell Manor, 5836 Southwyck Blvd.

● Flory Gardens, 3425 Nebraska Ave.

● Parqwood Apartments, 2125 Parkwood Ave.

● Ashley Arms, 1950 W. Bancroft St.

● Vistula Manor, 615 Cherry St.

● TenEyck Towers, 240 12st St.

“Any new developments that we construct in the future will be smoke-free,” Mrs. Mathews said.

As part of the smoke-free implementation program, the LMHA hosted “smoke out” meetings with residents in December. ABC Healthcare Inc., Urban Minority Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Outreach Program, Choice Behavioral Health Care, and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department are partnering with the housing authority to counsel residents who want to quit smoking.

Discussions and planning to make the LMHA units smoke-free began several years ago out of the agency’s concerns to create a healthier environment for residents and employees. She said smoking contributes to maintenance costs because of what tobacco does to carpet and paint in the buildings.

“We took time to meet with residents in every development that would be affected and held meetings to to tell them what the policy is, and how we see it being implemented,” Ms. Mathews said.

Mrs. Mathews said tenants were asked to sign an addendum to their leases agreeing to abide with the policy and the LMHA’s expectations that the buildings will be smoke-free. Any tenants who continuously violate the smoking ban could be subject to eviction.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.

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