A month and a half ago, we announced the beginning of our TOP (Tenant-Owner-Proactive) Pilot for Code Enforcement. After its first six weeks, we have some exciting preliminary results to share with you.
We are incredibly excited to announce a pilot program that has just been launched by the Division of Code Enforcement. We are calling this the TOP Code Enforcement Pilot Program because it helps Code Inspectors to better respond to tenants’ needs, interact with property owners, and be more proactive in identifying code violations.
I was running late to the Behavioral Insights conference in NYC. Despite planning efforts, I was having trouble checking into the hotel and now only had fifteen minutes to get from East 92nd Street and 1st Avenue to 78th and Madison (Bloomberg Philanthropies!). Seeing the time tick by, I made a decision. I abandoned the concierge, grabbed my luggage and began my stressed out walk/run toward the nearest 6 train. While I clamored across the upper east side, I drilled through what I would do if I got there five minutes late (walk in quietly and sit down) versus fifteen minutes late (wait out the first meeting of the day and join the group after) versus more than thirty minutes late (resign in shame).
We’ve posted before about how a human-centered design approach is integral to our research process, but it’s also a big part of our ideation and initiative development. Similar to how we need to work with residents who interact with systems and challenges every day to fully understand them, we need input from residents to know exactly what ideas will work most effectively to help them.
Driving through many of Syracuse’s neighborhoods today, one can’t help but notice the boarded up vacant houses, trash-strewn vacant lots, crumbling porches, and chipping paint. One might ask, how did this happen? How did we get here? And, what impact does neighborhood blight have on the city and its residents? What are the consequences to living in unstable and unsafe housing? And how does it affect our residents’ access to opportunity?
As the i-team mentioned in their last post, Syracuse is an older City with older building stock. Historic buildings and neighborhoods with real walkable neighborhood centers are an asset that Syracuse should celebrate. As more and more people want to live in neighborhoods with character, Syracuse has that to offer. Just as these older neighborhoods are built atop aging infrastructure, which requires maintenance, the homes themselves typically require more maintenance than a new home would. On top of that a weak real estate market and concentrated poverty leave many homes suffering from deferred maintenance.
Infrastructure Week - a national week of attention dedicated to elevating infrastructure as a critical issue impacting everyone - is this week.
In Syracuse, improving infrastructure is one of Mayor Miner’s top priorities, and if you have followed this blog, you will know that the innovation team has focused its efforts on infrastructure for more than a year. Our infrastructure report, detailing the work done so far, is available here.