Park Apartments in St James, MN was designed to provide safe and healthy environment for its residents. On April 1, 2013, a smoke-free policy goes into effect. The smoke-free policy covers all units, all common areas and 25 feet around the perimeter of the building.
Linda Blackstad, Executive Director for the St James HRA/Park Apartments, says the company chose to put the smoke-free policy into effect as a way to prevent secondhand smoke exposure in the building. “The health and well being of residents is our top priority. A smoke-free building is safer and contributes to a better living environment,” she said.
“We want apartment name to be a home all residents will enjoy,” said Blackstad.
With the help of Bonnie Frederickson, CJFMW SHIP Community Specialist, a tenant survey was conducted. The survey indicated that the majority of respondents were in favor of living in a smoke free building. They also recognized the dangers of secondhand smoke. Based on this survey, the HRA board passed a resolution on November 8 to adopt a smoke free building policy.
Notification of tenants regarding the policy is underway. Tenant education will be provided, including cessation supports in the near future. Tenant leases will include an addendum that addresses the smoke-free policy and will need to be signed by each tenant. The entire building will be smoke-free on April 1.
Live Smoke Free, a program of the Association of Non-Smokers Minnesota has been offering assistance to the CJFMW Smoke Free Multi-unit Housing strategy including the Lunch and Learn that was held in Fairmont on October 18.