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.

Let's Double-Down for Children with Asthma Like Louian

Little Louian's recently renovated home was in good condition, yet there were still things about the home environment that triggered Louian's asthma. Things had gotten so out of control that Louian ended up in the emergency room four times in a year. Healthy Homes provided Louian's mom with the knowledge, skills, and tools she needed to take action.

But this is just one of many families in need of support. Asthma attacks are the leading reason kids are going to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s emergency room.  We need to do more to keep children like Louian from hurting, and we can with your help.


Healthy Housing Goes Global

​In November of 2018, the World Health Organization stepped firmly into the healthy housing world when it released its WHO Housing and Health Guidelines. While local conditions are different all over the world, the strategies WHO suggests are universal and certainly apply to Grand Rapids.


Alex Markham: Parent Leader and Super Volunteer

Here at Healthy Homes, we have a small, but mighty volunteer force. And, possibly no volunteer is more known around the offices as a go-to helper than Alex Markham. She has been a very regular giver of time, talent, and passion over the past three years, and we are thankful to have her as part of the team.