A Tobacco Control Policy & Legal Resource Center
Supporting Smokefree Air & Tobacco-Free Lives

Maine State Housing Authority requires secondhand smoke protection for low-income tenants.

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As of November 1, 2012, the Maine State Housing Authority (MaineHousing) decided that all future units built and financed by Maine’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit (QAP) will be required to be 100% smokefree.  Maine is the first state in USA to require such buildings be 100% smokefree.    

The decision was made in large part due to a high level of volunteer participation prior to 2013: In 2007, MaineHousing’s QAP started to include a 1-point incentive for applicants who chose to create a 100% smokefree building.  Since 2007, all applicants, except for one, chose to create 100% smokefree policies.
MaineHousing recognized that allowing smoking inside of buildings can cause tenants and property employees to suffer illness and poor health, and the cost of rehabbing a unit is a waste of money since damage from smoking is preventable. It shows their commitment to help create a fire-safe, cost-efficient building.
Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine and its Chair Tina Pettingill were instrumental in educating MaineHousing on the benefits of having its QAP allow for the awarding of 1-point if an applicant was building a 100% smokefree multi-unit building, and moving forward with the new 2013 requirement.