The quality, safety and aesthetic condition of housing and businesses in Battle Creek are a reflection of community values. The physical condition of the city’s structures is unique compared to other infrastructure, in part, because it is both a product of community wealth and essential criteria to building prosperity. While the role of city government in establishing building codes is clearly to protect the best interests of the community as a whole, the crafting and enforcement of these codes must also respect the rights of individuals.
The purpose of encouraging residents to keep their houses up to minimum housing code standards is to maintain the appearance and safety of our community’s housing stock. Appearance violations emphasize the exterior, not because it is more important than interior issues, but because the general public is only presented with the exterior view of the property. Exterior issues expand beyond the structure itself, including inoperable vehicles, junk, trash and garbage cans. Maintaining a neat, cared-for appearance in a neighborhood is an important deterrent to crime. Studies have shown that neighborhoods that look run-down or "like no one cares or is paying attention," will attract more crime, from vandalism to petty theft and worse.
Code Compliance officials work in neighborhoods to ensure compliance with the city’s housing code. The primary concern of these officials is helping property owners bring their property into compliance with the City Housing Code. In order to do this, they address many issues, including inoperable vehicles, junk and trash in yards, exterior housing violations, and interior housing violations on rental property, Neighborhood Enterprise Zone certifications and rental inspections. By addressing these issues, they assist in making the city’s neighborhoods stronger and more attractive places to live. In situations in which a property owner is elderly, or does not have the financial resources to make repairs, the Code Compliance official will work with the individual to help him or her access assistance.
Tenants and Landlords Guide (PDF)
View Marcie Gillette's Code Compliance Presentation (PDF) on March 3, 2015, to the City Commission.