Protect and enhance the quality and character of our residential neighborhoods

Lakewood: The City of Beautiful Homes

Lakewood has a total of 32,000 housing units citywide including 12,700 one- or two-family homes. With research and a comprehensive housing survey, the continuing Housing Forward initiative has provided the city with more data on these 12,700 homes than ever before.

By using this solid data in the Division of Housing and Building — and sharing that data with homeowners — Lakewood has seen the number of residential building permits continue to climb.


  • Stewardship, options, quality+-

    A city’s building department is a part of its backbone and growth source.  It exists to enhance safety, improve housing and commercial buildings, and to curb signs of blight.  This is especially true in a city such as Lakewood, whose homes are entering their second century of life.

    Lakewood has a total of 32,000 housing units citywide including 12,700 one- or two-family homes. Through research and a comprehensive housing survey, the city’s Housing Forward initiative has provided the city with more data on these 12,700 homes than ever before.

    By using good data in the Division of Housing and Building, and sharing that data with homeowners, Lakewood has seen the number of residential building permits increase since 2010.

  • Inspecting, preventing, assisting+-

    The Division of Housing and Building provides code enforcement and plan examination services. For a closer look at the city’s building and housing code, click here.  It conducts annual inspections on rental property, permit inspections, complaint inspections, and prior to sale inspections.  The Division issues permits on new construction, repairs, and alterations.  The Division maintains a registry of contractors able to work in the City.  It also accepts applications for the Board of Zoning Appeals, Board of Building Standards, Architectural Board of Review, and the Planning Commission. To apply or register with the building department, click here. For more information, call (216) 529-6270 or send an email to housing.building@lakewoodoh.net.


  • Investing in our neighborhoods+-

    As a city with a population of more than 50,000 people, the city of Lakewood is a Community Development Block Grant entitlement community. The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to entitled cities and counties to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.

    To receive its annual CDBG entitlement grant, a grantee must develop and submit to HUD its Consolidated Plan, which is a jurisdiction’s comprehensive planning document and application for funding under the following Community Planning and Development formula grant programs: CDBG, HOME Investment Partnerships, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), and Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG). For more information, or to find out more about elibility requirements, call 216-529-4663 or send an email to dcd@lakewoodoh.net.

    The Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) is 17-member committee responsible for making recommendations on the allocation of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG), HOME, and American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) funds that are granted on an annual basis to the City of Lakewood by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

    Public Notice: FY16 Federal Funding Process

  • Litter Control, high grass, weeds+-

    Refuse must be stored in cans with tight fitting lids and not placed on the tree lawn before 6:00 PM the evening prior to pick up. Property owners can be cited for insanitary conditions if refuse is not properly contained. (Refer to LCO, Chapter 17, Sanitary Code. Every property owner in the City is responsible for keeping their lawns mowed and free from weeds. Grass or weeds six inches or higher are in violation of Chapter 1775 of the Lakewood Codified Ordinances and are subject to citation. If the property owner, occupant or management does not remove high grass and weeds after receiving a citation, the City of Lakewood may remove them at a cost of $100/hour. If you would like to report a property with high grass and/or weeds, please use the Report Problem/Concern form.

  • Registered Contractors+-

    This list is updated monthly by the Division of Housing and Building and includes those contractors currently registered with the City of Lakewood. Any contractor offering services in the city must register on an annual basis and have valid insurance on file with the city. The city is prohibited from recommending any particular contractor and strongly encourages that references be obtained prior to entering into a contract. Complete list of Registered Contractors.

  • Housing Financial Assistance+-

    The Lakewood HOME Program provides one of the best mortgage financing packages available to qualified first time homebuyers interested in purchasing a Lakewood home. Assistance, which comes in the form of a 0% interest, no monthly payment second mortgage is used to assist with both down payment and closing costs. Learn more

    The Department of Planning and Development offers a variety of other housing financial assistance programs that may suit your needs. Learn more

    To get more information — or to find out if you qualify — call (216) 529-HOME (4663) or send an email to dcd@lakewoodoh.net.

  • For Landlords+-

    Requirements for obtaining a housing or vacant property license may be found in Sections 1306.43 to 1306.491, found here. The city is offering the following resources to assist landlords in Lakewood.

    • Best Rental Practices: A Manual for Lakewood Landlords
      The City has provided a guideline for landlords to help with various issues including applicant screening, rental agreements, crisis resolution, working with our building and housing officials and other problems facing landlords.
    • A Friendly Lakewood Landlord Quiz
      Take a short quiz to test your knowledge as a landlord!
      How to be a GREAT Landlord in the City of Lakewood
      Here’s a brief list of the steps you must take to become a well-informed and effective landlord within the City of Lakewood.
    • Tenant Screening Discount Program
      Lakewood Landlords are entitled to deep discounts on tenant screening services. Click here to find out more.
    • Landlord Training Seminar Presentation
      Take a look at the Powerpoint presentation for the most recent Landlord Training Seminar.
  • Homeowner's Tax Abatement Program+-

    The City of Lakewood was the first municipality in the State of Ohio to enact legislation allowing a homeowner to qualify for any improvement that would increase the assessed value of the property for the Cuyahoga County Tax Abatement Program to defer this tax increase for a period of five (5) years. This, we feel, will help encourage property owners to rehabilitate and maintain their properties.

    The City of Lakewood has available a Cuyahoga County Tax Abatement Program (216-443-7100) for all one- and two-family dwelling units. The program applies to any new construction an /or improvements that cost at least $2,500 and cause an increase in the assessed value of your property. This defers your tax increase for a period of five (5) years. An application for this program will be automatically sent to you upon completion of the job and closeout of all permits for this project. When you receive this application, fill it out and return it to the Lakewood Building Department, 12650 Detroit Ave., Lakewood Ohio 44107. If you have any questions about this form, call 216-529-6285.

  • Housing License Renewal+-

    To renew your housing license — for 1- and 2-family properties — please click here to fill out the application.

  • City of Lakewood Home Improvement and Maintenance Guide+-

    Disclaimer: This guide is NOT a codebook, but rather an aid to you in your home improvement endeavors. All improvements must conform to Lakewood’s Zoning and Building Code requirements.
    If you have any questions or problems, please consult the City of Lakewood Building Department for assistance at (216) 529-6270.


    1-1: Welcome to the Division of Building Inspection (PDF)

    1-1: Building Permit Requirements

    1-1: Building Permit Checklist (Interior)

    1-1: Building Permit Checklist (Exterior)

    1-2: Basic Home Maintenance

    1-3 Common Home Improvements

    1-4 Financing Your Home Improvements

    2-1 History of Lakewood

    2-2 Architectural Styles of Lakewood Homes

    2-3 General Maintenance and Home Improvement Considerations for Maintaining the Character of Lakewood Homes

  • Downloads+-