Building Department

Due to the current Covid19 situation, the following measures are being implemented to reduce the risk of exposure.

1.  There can only be two people at one time in the building department lobby.

2.  One person per transaction.  (The whole family or friends cannot come in)

3. We will be promoting the rental registration via email.  The forms are accessible on the East Chicago website.  The following items will be required to be submitted as an attachment in a folder by address  and can be emailed to and  :

  1. Rental Registration Form (Must be fully completed)
  2. Declaration page of their property insurance
  3. Smoke detector form signed by their tenant (One per rental unit) 

Upon receiving the same the office staff will be contacting the owner of the property to obtain payment.  Please note if there are past rental registration fees due, the late payment will be assessed.  Payment can be done over the phone via credit card and we will email the sticker to the property owner.  


James E. Portalatin
East Chicago Building Commissioner


The mission of the East Chicago Building Department is to provide a resident-friendly and efficient entity that will enforce the minimum standards for the protection of:

  • Environment
  • General Welfare
  • Health
  • Life
  • Public Safety

Our goal is to promote and maintain a safe and desirable living environment, which will improve property values and enhance the quality of life for all residents of the City.

Rental Registration

City of East Chicago, Indiana Code of Ordinances Title XI, Chapter 123: Rental Housing and Ordinance Number 16-0013 require owners of real property in the City of East Chicago, to register all rental housing on an annual basis. These ordinances require owners of rental properties to register annually at:
East Chicago Building Department Office
4525 Indianapolis Boulevard
East Chicago, IN 46312

Owners must pay an annual registration fee of $5 per each rental unit community (as defined by Indiana Code 36-1-20-1.5), building or parcel. 

2020 Registration will commence on Monday, January 6, 2020, and received Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.


  • Conduct periodic joint inspections with Health, Fire and Air Quality Departments
  • Conducting inspections of complaint reports regarding:
    • Abandoned Vehicles
    • Debris
    • Electrical
    • Fences
    • Heating
    • Permits/Licensees
    • Plumbing
    • Swimming Pool
    • Unsafe Buildings
    • Ventilation/Air Conditioning
    • Weeds
  • Enforcing zoning laws
  • Examining and approving or rejecting all building permit applications
  • Inspecting all buildings in the course of construction or repair
  • Issue orders to repair, condemn and demolish
  • Periodic inspections of one- and two-family and multi-family dwellings
  • Review and approve or reject applications for licensing of contractors and sub-contractors
  • Seal unsafe buildings
  • Vacate unsafe buildings

Generally speaking, the services provided by the East Chicago Building Department are the same compared to the cities of Hammond and Gary, which are cities designated as first class cities. For instance, similarities include licensing, permits, condemnations and demolition of unsafe buildings. Also, it is significant to note that the City of East Chicago has an interrelated Code Enforcement Department, a division in the Building Department, which primarily handles complaints regarding Housing Standards and property maintenance issues.


The diverse staff of the East Chicago Building Department acts as representatives of our community. Moreover, there are several bilingual employees who speak Spanish, enabling this department to serve the needs of that segment of our diverse community.