09/24/08 — Minimum housing standards highlights

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Minimum housing standards highlights

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on September 24, 2008 1:46 PM

Listed below are some of the requirements of the city's minimum housing code:


*Walls, sills, joists, rafters or other structural members should not list, lean or buckle, be rotted or damaged or have holes or cracks

*Floors or roofs should have adequate support and strength

*Foundations and other supports should not be deteriorated or damaged

*Steps, stairs, landings and porches should be maintained as to collapse

*Adequate facilities for exit in case of fire must be provided

* Interior walls and ceilings should be finished of suitable materials

*The roof, flashings, exterior walls, basement walls, floors and all doors and windows should bewatertight

*There should be no chimneys or parts thereof which are in danger of falling or that present a fire hazard

*There should be no use of the ground for floors, or wood floors on the ground


*Dwelling should be connected to a potable water supply and to the public sewer or other approved sewage disposal system

*Dwelling shouldn't contain less than a kitchen sink, lavatory, tub or shower, water closet and adequate supply of both cold water and hot water

*All plumbing fixtures should be in good working order


*The heating system should be able to heat all habitable rooms, bathrooms and water closet compartments with a minimum temperature of 70° F, measured at a point three feet above the floor during ordinary winter conditions

*Where a central or electric heating system is not provided, each dwelling should have sufficient fireplaces, chimneys, flues or gas vents in order to heat all habitable rooms with a minimum temperature of 70°F, measured three feet above the floor during ordinary winter conditions


*Dwelling should be wired for electric lights and convenience receptacles

*Every habitable room should have at least two floor or wall-type electric convenience receptacles

*At least one light fixture should be installed in every bathroom, water closet room, laundry room and furnace room

*Every public hall and stairway in a multiple dwelling should be adequately lighted by electric lights at all times when natural daylight is not sufficient

*All fixtures, receptacles, equipment and wiring should be maintained in a state of good repair


*Every habitable room should have at least one window or skylight facing directly to the outdoors or have another device to ventilate the room

Space, use and location

*Dwelling should contain at least 150 square feet of habitable floor area for the first occupant, at least 100 square feet of additional habitable area for each of the next three occupants and at least 75 square feet of additional habitable floor area for each additional occupant

*At least one-half of the floor area of every habitable room should have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet and 6 inches

*No cellar shall be used for living purposes

*No basement shall be used for living purposes unless the floor and walls are substantially watertight, the total window area, total openable window area and ceiling height are equal to those required for habitable rooms or the required minimum window area of every habitable room is entirely above the grade adjoining such window area, except where the window or windows face a stairwell, window well or accessway

*Dwelling should have a specific kitchen space, which contains a sink with counter work space and has hot and cold running water, adequate space for installing cook and refrigeration equipment, and for storing cooking utensils


*Every exterior wall should be protected with paint or other protective covering to prevent moisture

*Every bathroom floor surface and water closet compartment floor surface should be reasonably impervious to water and easily cleaned

*Every yard should be properly graded for thorough drainage and prevent the accumulation of stagnant water

*Every yard and all exterior property areas should be kept free of species of weeds or plant growth which are detrimental to health


*Every door opening directly from a dwelling to outdoor space should have screens and a self-closing device

*Every window used for ventilation should have a screen

*Dwelling should be supplied with approved containers and covers for storage of rubbish