The Healthy Homes Coalition has been exploring options for strengthening local housing regulations to protect children from lead-based paint hazards. In particular, Healthy Homes has been looking at ways in which the City of Grand Rapids Housing Code might better protect children who live in rental property through its rental registration and certification program.
From July through August 2010, the Healthy Homes Coalition participated in a City Manager-appointed work group to study the problem and come up with recommendations. That work group presented a report to the City Commission in December 2010 that, among other things, included a budget-neutral plan for how the City could include single-family rental property in the current rental registration program. This recommendation would end a long-standing special priviledge for a select group of property owners not commonly enjoyed by others and would protect children's health through ensuring a minimum standard of houisng quality.
Prior, the Healthy Homes Coalition coalesced with two dozen other community groups to promote the June 2010 Strategies to Address Housing Quality and Sustainable Neighborhoods, a platform recommending specific stretegies for improving local housing code enforcement efforts to better fit a post-boom housing market. recomendations include:
- Forming a Blue Ribbon Commission on Housing.
- Adding single family rental units to the Grand Rapids inspection and certification program to ensure that all rental housing stock is required to adhere to the same standards of quality and safety.
- Redesigning the Grand Rapids vacant property program to mitigate the negative effects of the foreclosure crisis.
- Creating a comprehensive, accessible, and accurate database of parcel information.
This work comes in response to a community work session organized by the healthy Homes Coalition in late February 2009. At that meeting, fifty stakeholders met to discuss our community's options. Below are some materials and background documents from the February 2009 meeting.
- "Housing and Health" Survey Results (5.1 MB PDF)
- February 24 "Housing and Health" Presentation (5.8 MB PDF)
- Current City of Grand Rapids Housing Code (75 KB PDF)
- Current Kent County Housing Regulation (182 KB PDF)
- "Tool Book for Initiating Effective Policy Change" (Prepared by Berrien County Health Department, Public Health Muskegon and the Healthy Homes Coalition) (5.3 MB PDF)
Making sure children grow up in homes that are healthy and safe is everyone’s job! The Healthy Homes Coalition is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Learn more about specific ways you can help protect children. Connect with us today!