Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Family Housing Popular in Omaha
¬†¬† Omaha is leading a national trend for smoke-free apartment listings, according to the official publication of the National Apartment Association, Units Magazine. Omaha ranked #2, just behind Chicago, with the highest number of smoke-free apartment listings. The ranking is based on results from 20,000+ listings posted in April 2013 on Apartment Guide. According to Units Magazine, the top markets for smoke-free housing were:
1.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Chicago 14.8%
2.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Omaha 13.6%
3.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Oklahoma City, Okla. 9.2%
4.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Charlotte, N.C. 9.1%
5.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Raleigh, N.C. 8.7%
6.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Phoenix 7.3%
7.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Philadelphia 7.0%
8.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Columbus, Ohio 6.6%
9.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Atlanta 6.5%
10.¬†¬†¬† Virginia Beach, Va. 6.3%
¬†¬† Douglas County Putting Prevention to Work has joined forces with the Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition (MOTAC) to increase the number of apartment complexes that offer smoke-free options. The Douglas County Health Department provides technical assistance to landlords and property managers who want to offer smoke-free options to tenants. The success of this work can be seen not only through Omaha‚Äôs high ranking in Units Magazine, but also through the success of some of the local apartment complexes.
¬†¬† Peony Village, professionally managed by Robert Hancock and Co., had just one smoke-free building years ago, but saw the benefits and has recently evolved to have all six buildings ‚Äď 160 units ‚Äď entirely smoke-free. The Douglas County Health Department provided a toolkit offering everything from resident surveys to nonsmoking signs to make it easy for the apartment complex to go smoke-free.
¬†¬† ‚ÄúNot only does smoke-free housing offer a healthy and safe environment for our residents, it also saves us quite a bit of money when turning over the units,‚ÄĚ said Scott Lovercheck, Community Manager at Peony Village. ‚ÄúThere have been times we would have to apply two or more coats of paint, replace carpets, countertops and even appliances to clean the apartments after a smoker lived there. This can cost thousands of dollars per unit. The costs are cut dramatically when the resident is a nonsmoker.‚ÄĚ
¬†¬† Douglas County Putting Prevention to Work‚Äôs goal over the next two years is for more than 125 apartment complexes to offer smoke-free buildings. To date, 69 complexes across the community in Douglas County are providing smoke-free options which are listed on the MOTAC website. We encourage community help by identifying interested complexes or landlords and by talking about the importance of smoke-free housing. For more information about smoke-free living, contact Aja Anderson at the Douglas County Health Department at 402-444-7278.