Steps to a Safe Home

Pathways to a Safe & Healthy Home

Once you’ve got the basics covered on this checklist, you’re well on your way to a healthy and safe home! Remember, if your home also has structural, electrical, plumbing or infestation issues, then there will be some additional steps to take to ensure a healthy and safe home.

For homes that will need more assistance, the Safe Homes Task Force uses the following process and response.


Step 1. Field staff or resident complaint prompts inspection of the home in question.

Step 2. Staff does an on-site HOMES Assessment to determine the level on a scale of 1-5.

Step 3. HOMES Assessments are turned over to Building Department to be turned into BS&A.

Step 4. BS&A entry will determine the course of follow up with the resident and generate automatic notification to Safe Homes Task Force team members and prompt further inspections.


For each Stage 1-5, the Safe Homes Task Force has created an appropriate response. Each time the level goes up by one, the response escalates and builds upon the previous level response. 

Stage 1. Information is put into BS&A, and the home is placed on the Code Enforcement watch list. This is the least intrusive measure. No contact is necessary with the resident, however, Code Enforcement will return to inspect the residence and note any changes.

Stage 2. Home is placed on a 12-month monitoring schedule. A risk letter is mailed to the home.

Stage 3. Sterling Heights Police Department and Fire Department is sent to the residence for a wellness check and inspection. Police will contact Statewide Intake, Community Mental Health and Adult Protective Services.

Stage 4. Sterling Heights Police Department will contact the Sterling Heights Fire Department, Building Official, Statewide Intake, Community Mental Health and Adult Protective Services. Residence will receive a 30-day occupancy to clean up / make progress. Progress is noted after 30 days and extended if in compliance. Monthly progress checks will continue until the residence is cleaned up. Non-compliance / no progress will result in an automatic court order and no occupancy. 

Stage 5. At this stage, the residence would be considered uninhabitable. The first department on scene should call the Police Department, Fire Department, and Building Official. The Building Official, along with the Fire Marshall, will have the home padlocked. The City Attorney will be contacted as well as Community Mental Health, Statewide Intake (open 24-hours) and Area Agency on Aging 1-B. Contacting all three of these agencies is critical to getting these properties much needed attention.