Code Enforcement

Numerous efforts have been made over the years to incorporate healthy home provisions into housing code and weatherization efforts. The following are a sample of improvements and standards that communities are adopting to improve healthy and housing quality.

National Healthy Housing Standard
New, science-based minimum performance standards for safe and healthy homes. Features healthy home requirements and stretch provisions in seven key categories with explanations for each provision on its public health rationale, along with references for more information. It bridges the health and building code communities by integrating public health information into housing code parlance. Tool for property owners, elected officials, code staff, and anyone concerned about housing's interaction with health.

How Does Your Code Compare?
NCHH reviewed the housing codes of 11 jurisdictions to see how they fared when compared to the National Healthy Housing Standards (NHHS) and the International Property Management Code (IPMC). Housing and health advocates and professionals interested in improving local codes can use the NCHH Code Analyses as templates to similarly evaluate how well your code meets healthy housing standards identified under the NHHS and IPMC.

Comparing Codes? Questions to Ask:
Does your state or local code include the mandatory provisions of the NHHS? If not, how many are the same or somewhat similar? Does your code include any of the NHHS stretch provisions? Compare your codes to specific sections of the NHHS and IPMC to determine where code changes may improve your local code. Is more than one agency responsible for code requirements and enforcements (e.g., does your local fire marshal oversee some housing safety and security requirements?)? If so, do the agencies collaborate and refer or document crossover codes to ensure that local codes are up to par and key provisions are not falling through the cracks?

Find NCHH code analyses based on the following:

Population

Mega-Sized Cities and/or Counties (population greater than or equal to 3 million)
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County, CA

Large Cities and/or Counties (population between 1 and 3 million)

Dallas, TX
Houston, TX
King County, WA

Medium-Sized Cities/Counties (population greater than or equal to 500,000, less than 1 million)
Marion County-Indianapolis, IN
Memphis, TN
Summit County, OH

Small Cities/Towns (population greater than or equal to 100,000, less than 500,000)
Bridgeport, CT
Lansing, MI

Very Small Cities/Towns (population less than or equal to 100,000)
Burlington, VT
Evanston, IL
Mansfield, OH
Nashua, NH
Pittsfield, NH
Tukwila, WA

Housing Cost Burden (Households paying more than 35% of income on mortgage or rent)

Greater than or equal to 35%
Bridgeport, CT
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County, CA
Tukwila, WA
Memphis, TN
Pittsfield, NH

Between 25% and 35%
Dallas, TX
Evanston, IL
Houston, TX
King County, WA
Lansing, MI
Marion County-Indianapolis, IN
Nashua, NH

Less than or equal to 25%
Burlington, VT
Mansfield, OH
Summit County, OH

Rental Housing (Percentage of rental units):

Greater than 50%
Bridgeport, CT
Burlington, VT
Dallas, TX
Houston, TX
Los Angeles County, CA
Tukwila, WA

Less than or equal to 50%
Evanston, IL
King County, WA
Lansing, MI
Mansfield, OH
Marion County-Indianapolis, IN
Memphis, TN
Nashua, NH
Pittsfield, NH
Summit County, OH


Region/Climate Zone (based on DOE/Building America Climate Zones*):

Cold
Burlington, VT
Bridgeport, CT
Lansing, MI
Mansfield, OH
Marion County-Indianapolis, IN
Evanston, IL
Nashua, NH
Pittsfield, NH
Summit County, OH

Hot-Dry
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County, CA

Hot-Humid
Dallas, TX
Houston, TX

Marine
King County, WA
Tukwila, WA

Mixed-Humid
Memphis, TN
 
* NCHH's code analyses were completed in jurisdictions in five of the eight DOE/Building America zones.