In August 2021 the Minneapolis Health Department (MHD) and Live Smoke Free (LSF), a program of the Association for Nonsmokers – Minnesota, surveyed owners/managers of Minneapolis rental properties to gauge support for and understand access to low-income smoke-free housing. Respondents answered questions about their properties where rents are subsidized by Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs). The survey was sent to 1,126 owners/managers; there were 112 respondents (10% response rate). The survey was conducted in partnership with the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA).

What is the Housing Choice Voucher Program?

The HCV program provides federal housing subsidies to renters as a voucher that can be used to pay rent to private owners. In Minneapolis, the MPHA administers the HCV program.

Prevalence of Smoke-Free Policies

Respondents reported that 28% of the HCV properties represented in the survey do not have smoke-free protections.

Support for Citywide Smoke-Free Initiatives

Seventy-three percent of respondents support a citywide policy requiring property owners/managers to disclose the smoking policy to potential residents prior to lease signing.

Sixty-three percent of respondents support a citywide policy requiring apartment buildings to have a smoke-free (no-smoking) policy that covers all indoor areas.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents support some type of incentive to adopt a smoke-free policy.

Key Takeaways

  • Nearly 1/3 of HCV properties in this survey have no smoke-free protections.
  • Most owners/managers in the HCV program strongly support smoke-free housing.
  • Further research, outreach, and technical assistance to Minneapolis affordable housing property managers is needed.

Complementary Study of the Minneapolis Project Based Voucher Program

In September 2022 MHD and LSF again collaborated with MPHA to survey property owners of Project-Based Voucher (PBV) rental housing. The purpose of the survey was to collect information to complement the 2021 HCV survey.