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.
Did You Know...
Grand Rapids ordinance requires working smoke alarms in all bedrooms and on each level of every rental home.
The City of Grand Rapids Housing Code requires four primary actions regarding lead-based paint hazards:
- Prohibition on peeling and chipping paint.
- Prohibition on paint chips and residue lying on the ground or horizontal surfaces (this includes window troughs).
- Prohibition on bare soil within 30 inches of any structure (enforced seasonally).
- 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.
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.
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:
- Units must have guards and handrails on stairs, landings and balconies.
- Bathrooms are required to have either a ventilation system or operable window.
- Mechanical appliances, fireplaces, solid fuel-burning appliances, cooking appliances and water heating appliances must be in safe working condition.
- 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.
Grand Rapids supplimental housing code citations regarding lead-based paint.
Grand Rapids City Code requirements for Smoke Alarm installation
Smoke Alarm Installation Guide(238 KB)
Sections from the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code on garbage removal and pest elimination.
This fall, Healthy Homes is starting a new lead education program to help any local family who wants to learn more about lead, and how to manage lead hazards in their home.
Hugo Claudin is the newest full-time staff member in the Healthy Homes direct services department. He will be working directly with families struggling with environmental hazards in their homes, visiting them, making action plans for them, and building relationships with them. Hugo brings a unique perspective and experience to this position. Before coming here, he previously worked for Spectrum Health, LINC, and The Red Project, all in a community health capacity. He is also a well-known artist and musician, and an all-around interesting guy.