(Special to AFN)
Liv Ahwatukee apartment complex at 160255 S. 50th St. is one of two smoke-free complexes in Ahwatukee and one of 30 in Phoenix.
More apartments going smoke-free in Ahwatukee, East Valley By Jared McDonald AFN STAFF WRITER
With more people opposing smoking than ever before, many apartment complexes in the region and statewide are making the switch to smoke-free. “It’s the new, hot amenity,” said Sharon Hosfeld, the smoke-free community coordinator for the Arizona Multihousing Association. “Places that have gone smoke-free have a wait list of renters.” More people are opposed to smoking than ever before, said Hosfeld, and don’t want to smell secondhand smoke or the smoke that can permeate an apartment. Cigarette smoking has steadily declined since the 1960s, and only 16.8 percent of adults still smoke
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today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In response to the growing opposition to smoking, apartment complexes are banning smoking inside apartments, or even within the entire complex. Ahwatukee is home to two of the 30 smoke-free complexes in Phoenix. They are Mountain Park Ranch at 4221 E. Ray Road and Liv Ahwatukee, 160255 S. 50th St. East Valley complexes that ban smoking include Generations at Agritopia in Gilbert, El Rancho del Arte in Mesa and Residences at Fountainhead in Tempe. A full list of smoke-free apartments in Arizona is available at azsmokefreeliving. org/residents.
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“In surveying our customers, the number of people looking for smoke-free housing far exceeded those who did not want it,” said Greg Morehead, regional supervisor for Fairfield Residential. The Arizona Multihousing Association partnered with the American Lung Association to encourage more apartment communities to go smokefree, said Pamela McCarthy, regional manager for Fairfield Residential. Going smoke-free benefits builders and apartment managers as well by saving them money. After a smoker leaves an apartment, a cleaning crew has to scrub the apartment of the smoke smell, a lengthy and expensive process. “Smoke permeates everything,” said
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McCarthy. “Anything porous has to be replaced,” said Hosfeld. “We replace baseboards, carpet, ceiling fixtures, outlet covers, fridges and ovens. It takes a long time to turn over a smoker apartment, which is time you can’t rent.” Hosfeld estimated it costs between $500 to thousands of dollars to revitalize an apartment, depending on how heavily the previous tenant smoked. “In several units, we’ve had to go as far as replace the drywall to eliminate residual smoke from a unit,” said Morehead. Going smoke-free can even give renters incentive renters to quit smoking. “Some people use that little push to stop smoking,” said Hosfeld.
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ahwatukee.com | Ahwatukee Foothills News | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2016 Page 35