Policy Summary

The policy establishes standards for communal kitchens located in rental housing. Standards include minimum floor area, minimum food preparation area, requirements of a refrigerator, kitchen sink, stove, and adequate cabinet space. Communal kitchens must be accessible to all occupants without going outside or through another occupant's unit.

Background Information

State Iowa
Jurisdiction Name Ottumwa
Jurisdiction Type City,
Population Size 5,000-50,000
Legal Strategies
  • Requires something, sets standards
Reach Community-wide
Food System Category Make;
Evidence for Health

This policy may correspond to diet-related strategies identified by the County Health Rankings’ What Works for Health tool, including:

For research on the potential effectiveness, please review the category links above.

We understand that this information is not comprehensive. It also does not include other important forms of evidence such as community members’ lived experiences and practice-based evidence.

Policy Details

Refers to priority populations?

This policy relates to communal kitchen standards in rental housing, most of which is multi-unit housing.

Health-related goal?

The housing code, which includes this policy, is designed to ensure that conditions are of the quality necessary to protect and promote the health, safety, and welfare of the occupants and the general public. § 20-1.

Environmental goal?

Economic goal?

Includes findings?

Has a stated intent or purpose?

"[T]he purpose of the Ottumwa Housing Code is to ensure that housing facilities and conditions are of the quality necessary to protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of not only those persons utilizing the housing, but the general public as well... the purpose of this chapter is to determine the responsibilities of owners, operators, occupants, and the city, necessary to maintain and administer the standards of the housing code." §20-1(b).

Includes definitions?

The housing code largely adopts the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code, including that code's definitions with one exception (see e.g., § 20-3(b)(7). The definitions are not reprinted in the Ottumwa Housing Code. § 20-2 and § 20-3(b)(7).

Addresses implementation?

The health department is charged with issuing rental housing permits § 20-5(a). Requirements for obtaining a rental permit are listed in § 20-5.

Enforcement provisions?

Violatiors are subject to fees or revocation of rental permit. Fee schedule is established by resolution of the Ottumwa City Council. §20-6.

Evaluation component?

Requires extra investment?

Code context and ordinance history

This code is located in Ottumwa, Iowa Code of Ordinances, Chapter 20 Housing Code, Section 20-7 Minimum Standards for all rental housing. History: Ord. No. 3127-2017, § 1(20-5), 10-17-2017.


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