Wellness Lounge Proves Well for Tenants

The Mora Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) implemented a full no-smoking policy for all of its properties, including 108 residents, effective January 1, 2012. Since that time, they have worked to enforce the new policy and make environmental changes to encourage and support tenants who choose to quit smoking. The $1,500 in Partners in Healthy Living (PiHL) mini grants ($500 for each building) awarded in August of 2014 have allowed the HRA to purchase or produce:

• No-smoking policy reminders for tenants;
• No-smoking agreements for new tenants;
• New internal and external “no-smoking anywhere on property” signs to replace old paper ones;
• A survey of tenants regarding smoking and interest in cessation; and
• Smoking cessation resources for tenants.

As a result, the Mora HRA has been able to:

  • Establish a “wellness lounge” area in the Pine Crest Manor apartments, providing smoking tenants with an alternative to going outside to smoke. The area is open to all Pine Crest residents and includes literature and resources related to a variety of wellness topics including smoking cessation and support, access to healthy activities such as puzzles, games, and more. For photos, click Photos of Mora HRA.
  • The resident computer lab at Pine Crest provides desktop links for quick access to online health topics.
  • Develop a partnership with Wellness First/First Light Health System to provide on-site smoking cessation support to tenants who smoke including a presentation on February 25, 2015, that was also open to the public.

Now that time and grant funds have supported the initial environmental changes, and program and partnership development, these efforts are sustainable through a new wellness line item of $100 annually within the HRA’s operating budget.

This initiative has improved the quality of life for our residents, reduced maintenance costs and repairs and has initiated discussion and interest in the effects of second hand smoke. The survey of residents identified six who have interest in more information on stopping smoking. The discussion has also raised awareness and been a reminder to residents of the HRA’s smoke-free policy.

The HRA has not had any known violations of the smoking policy for more than 4 months, in contrast to a year ago when smoking violations occurred an average of 2-3 times per month.

Great work Mora HRA!

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