Scientific evidence shows a connection between substandard housing and health outcomes such as asthma, lead poisoning, and unintentional injuries. Forty-three percent of rental housing units in King County and 33% of owner occupied housing units have physical problems that could affect health. Nineteen percent of all King County housing is described as having severe maintenance-related problems, such as lacking complete plumbing or kitchen facilities, or roofing and water leaks. Healthier housing promotes the healthy growth and development of children and has the potential to save billions in health care costs. Washington State Building Code (RCW 19.27) is meant to promote the health, safety and welfare of the occupants or users of buildings and structures, but the code has no provision for maintaining existing housing. Regulation of building maintenance is delegated by default to local municipalities and counties, and codified in municipal and county codes. International and national model standards for healthy housing can provide strong baselines for cities and counties to consider strengthening their local codes.
This dataset includes nearly 80 components of ordinances that govern the maintenance and inspection of existing housing, including provisions for habitability, injury, mold and pest prevention, air quality and lead and other toxins, including tobacco smoke, in the home. The ordinances presented here cover unincorporated King County, and all 39 municipalities therein.
This page displays policies in effect through August 2015. King County will update these datasets based on available resources. To explore municipal and unincorporated King County housing maintenance and smoke-free housing ordinances (policies) related to health and safety in King County, click the ‘Start Here’ button below.