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For many tenants, social housing providers are the landlord of last resort. Some people wait years to secure a subsidized unit, only to find themselves and their families exposed to second-hand smoke from neighbouring units on a regular basis. They do not have the means to move. Further, many social housing residents are already marginalized with higher rates of disability and chronic disease. Social/non-profit housing should be a clean and safe environment for people who don't have any other housing options.
In consultation with the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, we worked with a small number of non-profit housing providers to pilot the implementation of smoke-free policies in existing residential buildings.
We chose a more cautious approach to address the different realities and challenges of the non-profit housing sector.
Based on the results of this pilot, we developed procedures outlined in the document below tailored to the non-profit housing sector. However, adopting a no-smoking policy for social/non-profit housing involves many of the same steps suggested for existing market rate buildings, plus a few additional considerations.