243355 Finding healthy housing in the 21st century: Building, maintaining, and supporting comprehensive healthy housing database

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sarah Mayberry , Director, Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine, Portland, ME
Nina Fedele, Director of Operations, Socialservecom , Socialserve.com, Charlotte, NC
Tina Pettingill, MPH , Smoke-Free Housing New England, Pettingill Consulting Services, Scarborough, ME
It is well known that secondhand smoke can be life threatening, yet it can be difficult to find housing that allows residents to live in a completely smoke-free environment. Approximately 78% of tenants need and desire access to healthy housing that prohibits smoking. In order to help people find housing that doesn't expose them to secondhand smoke, it is possible to develop or enhance a housing locator service to make it easy to list and locate smoke free housing. In 2009, MaineHousing created a statewide rental housing locator service, MaineHousingSearch.org, which is updated regularly and supported by a toll-free bilingual call center. The service is provided to the public at no cost, is free to search and free to list. Each listing provides detailed information, including mapping tools, amenities, photos and neighborhood information. The Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine learned of this resource and became an official partner by way of merging its smoke-free apartment registry into the MaineHousingSearch.org service. The two agencies worked closely to enhance the service by adding smoke-free specific listing categories and icons, smoke-free housing resources, and information for landlords on how to adopt and enforce smoke-free policies. Housing seekers in Maine now have an up-to-date, comprehensive housing search tool that can be filtered for smoke-free housing. Many states have similar housing locator tools in place that can be easily enhanced to serve this need, thereby eliminating the need for multiple housing search services within a State.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Explain the value of including smoke-free designations in a comprehensive rental housing locator service. Formulate a plan to advocate for the inclusion of smoke-free designations in state supported housing registries

Keywords: Tobacco Policy, Housing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee the State of Maine's smoke-free housing program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.