Did You Know...

Grand Rapids ordinance requires working smoke alarms in all bedrooms and on each level of every rental home. 

Code Requirements

Lead Hazards

The City of Grand Rapids Housing Code requires four primary actions regarding lead-based paint hazards:

  1. Prohibition on peeling and chipping paint.
  2. Prohibition on paint chips and residue lying on the ground or horizontal surfaces (this includes window troughs).
  3. Prohibition on bare soil within 30 inches of any structure (enforced seasonally).
  4. Requirement that lead-safe work practices are used when working on pre-1978 housing.

In communities where the International Property Maintenance Code is used, "peeling, flaking and chipped paint shall be eliminated and surfaces repainted."

Under the US-EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule, prescribed lead-safe work practices must be used when disturbing painted surfaces in pre-1978 housing and certified labor must be used.  For more information on the RRP program, click here.

 

Smoke Alarms

Most municipalities, including the cities of Grand Rapids and Wyoming, require smoke alarms to be installed in each bedroom or sleeping area, outside each sleeping area, and on every story of the dwelling unity, including basements. Additionally, smoke alarms are required to be powered by a hardwired source or 10-year lithium battery. In Grand Rapids, the alarm must be tamperproof if battery powered.

 

Pests

Landlords have responsibility under the International Property Maintenance Code (IMPC) to remove an infestation from the property prior to occupancy and are responsible for keeping all common areas pest free. Tenants have responsibility to prevent re-infestation of their individual units. Landlords can protect their property investment by taking proactive steps and preventing pest infestations by addressing any structural issues that may contribute to the problem, may of which are also required under property maintenance codes.

 

Safety & Healthy Housing

The following are required for residential units under the International Property Maintenance Code:

  1. Units must have guards and handrails on stairs, landings and balconies.
  2. Bathrooms are required to have either a ventilation system or operable window. 
  3. Mechanical appliances, fireplaces, solid fuel-burning appliances, cooking appliances and water heating appliances must be in safe working condition.
  4. Leaks from the exterior of the home, water in the basement, and plumbing leaks must be repaired

The cities of Grand Rapids, Wyoming and Kentwood, as well as many others, require that all rental property be registered. In addition, all rental property must be certified, which involves undergoing periodic inspections. Please refer to your local municipality for specific code requirements.

 

Resources

Grand Rapids Housing Code Lead Paint(77 KB)

Grand Rapids supplimental housing code citations regarding lead-based paint.

Grand Rapids Housing Code Smoke Alarms(102 KB)

Grand Rapids City Code requirements for Smoke Alarm installation

2012 International Property Maintenance Code(53 KB)

Sections from the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code on garbage removal and pest elimination.

Job Opening - FEMA Worker

The Healthy Homes Coalition has an opening for a FEMA Field Worker.  We are seeking a Spanish-speaking (conversational) candidate to work 24 hours/week.


FEMA Awards Healthy Homes Coalition $51,451 for Fire Safety Program

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced an award of $51,451 on September 9, 2016 to the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan to make 400 homes safer for children. The award will allow the Healthy Homes Coalition to teach fire safety and install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in 400 homes.


Matthew Breathes Easier!

This spring, our Healthy Housing Specialist Jennifer Spiller began working with Luom and her 5-year-old son, Matthew. Matthew’s asthma was causing him to have a lot of sleepless nights from waking up coughing. Luom was already working with Matthew’s doctor and the Asthma Network of West Michigan to control his asthma, and Healthy Homes was invited to assess their home to see if his environment might be worsening his symptoms.