Western New York Landlords Invited to Smoke-Free Housing Summit

Thursday, April 14, 2011

BUFFALO, NY - Western New York landlords are invited to a free breakfast meeting to discuss the benefits of smoke-free multiunit housing on April 20 at 8:30 am, Zebro Conference Room, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, at the corner of Virginia and Ellicott Streets.

The Summit is hosted by the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition and will feature regional and national housing experts.  Newly appointed City of Buffalo Housing court Judge Patrick Carney will offer insights into Buffalo's new law which requires landlords to disclose smoking policies. Nationally known smoke-free housing expert, Jim Bergman, will share how he assisted thousands of landlords in Michigan to take their apartments smoke-free.  Belmont Housing Resources for Western New York Vice President of Property Operations, Pamela Berger will share the experiences of adopting smoke-free housing policy by an organization which manages 15 housing complexes serving low and moderate income families.

"Establishing a smoke-free policy is a 'win-win' choice. It is good for business as the cost to renovate apartments is considerably less in a smoke-free environment and the risk of fire loss from a lit cigarette is eliminated. You also provide a healthier living environment for residents and a healthier working environment for staff," said Ms. Berger.

The Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition will provide an informational took kit that provides guidelines for the adoption of smoke-free policies.

"Landlords who attend the Housing Summit will hear from people with first-hand experience about the benefits of smoke-free apartments.  We are giving these busy landlords a free breakfast and answering their questions as they consider this important business decision," said Anthony Billoni, Director of the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition.

To date, more than 80 buildings in Erie and Niagara counties have adopted 100% smoke-free policies for their multi-unit apartments. Landlords find that smoke-free policies help to reduce maintenance costs when smokers vacate a residence by decreasing costs associated with cleaning, painting, rug and window treatment replacement and repairs of floors and countertops burned by cigarettes.

In New York, 74% of non-smokers favor no-smoking policies where they live. Many renters view smoke-free housing as a desirable amenity.  Surveys indicate that renters expressed a willingness to pay more to live in a smoke-free building.

Space is limited and reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation, call 716-845-3407 or email: Anthony.Billoni@RoswellPark.org

The Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition is funded by the New York State Tobacco Control Program.  The goal is to educate community leaders and the public about the dangers and social costs of tobacco use, engage local stakeholders to adopt policies that restrict the tobacco industry's presence in our communities, seek to de-normalize tobacco use and eliminate secondhand smoke. For more information, visit www. tobaccofreewny.com or www.tobaccofreenys.org.

Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org