Osseo studies multi-family smoke free housing
The push is on for smoke-free multi-family housing in the city of Osseo. The city’s small town charm also includes several apartment complexes. Some affordable and luxury apartments are in walking distance of the downtown area. At least nine of the 20 multi-family housing rental properties are smoke-free. Two other apartments, like North Oaks, allow for people to smoke. However, officials are still trying to verify whether nine other complexes have non-smoking policies.
“In this day and age, I don’t see who wouldn’t want it,” said resident Liz Painter. She just moved into Celtic Crossing, where they have a non-smoking policy in place.
“I’m not a smoker at all and I don’t like to be around other people that smoke,” she said.
Live Smoke Free Partners with Osseo
For two years, the city has worked with the organization– Live Smoke Free, which partners with Hennepin County to help multi-family housing owners convert their buildings to non-smoking.
“Often times, we’ll do a residence meeting and do a presentation to help the managers, educate the people about it,” explained Rose Hauge with Live Smoke Free.
Officials have several reasons to encourage apartment building managers to clear the smoke. The first is safety.
“In the past few years, some of our larger fires at apartment complexes have been related to smoking in the units,” said Osseo City Planner Nancy Abts.
Secondhand smoke is also a big concern, because smoke fumes are not just contained to one room.
“So, if someone’s smoking in apartment, that smoke is going to everyone else’s apartment, someway somehow, because of all the shared space in between the walls,” said Hauge.
And non-smoking advocates say cleanup costs are more expensive for smokers.
Secondhand smoke can impact the building, become embedded in the walls. Need to be washed out of the curtains, all of those things,” explained Abts.
The city of Osseo has a survey and wants to hear what residents think about smoke-free multi-family housing. For more information call the city or stop by Osseo City Hall.