TOP Pilot for Community Code Enforcement

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.

Mayor Miner with Director of Code Enforcement, Ken Towsley, announcing the TOP Pilot program on Wednesday.

Mayor Miner with Director of Code Enforcement, Ken Towsley, announcing the TOP Pilot program on Wednesday.

The TOP Program consists of seven different initiatives that use new strategies, data, and technology to enhance the relationships between code inspectors and the community, while improving housing conditions for our most vulnerable citizens. Think of it as code enforcement that is modeled after community policing.

The seven initiatives are:

1.  Territories: Inspectors will be assigned to a specific territory that they are responsible for. They will walk and drive the neighborhood on a regular basis and proactively identify code violations.

2.  Block by block: Blocks will receive “score cards” which measure their health. Inspectors will be asked to pay special attention to the blocks that have low scores and blocks that see negative change.

3.  Building blocks:  The city will use a new software system to identify properties that are likely to have code violations, and inspectors will review the exteriors of the identified properties and try to meet with the people who live in them.

4.  Meet your inspector: Inspectors will meet with people and organizations in their neighborhood and offer their services. During these interactions, tenants can meet with inspectors about their living conditions, and property owners/managers can meet with inspectors for technical assistance.

5.  Health and safety priorities: Inspectors will have a checklist of code violations related to health and safety that they should review during every interior inspection.

6.  Customer Service: After a case is closed, tenants and property owners will receive a survey allowing them to rate their experience.

7.  Property Owner Outreach: Inspectors will call property owners to inquire and check on outstanding code violations.

"A resident of Oak Street was passing by the press conference and complained about the condition of the home he and his mother rent from a landlord based in New York City. A code enforcement officer took his information and planned to meet at the home a short time later." Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

"A resident of Oak Street was passing by the press conference and complained about the condition of the home he and his mother rent from a landlord based in New York City. A code enforcement officer took his information and planned to meet at the home a short time later." Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

The TOP Pilot is taking place on the Northside Neighborhood, and will last from November 1 until December 15. During this time, we will monitor over two dozen metrics which will measure the success of pilot initiative. Each week we will meet with Codes staff to review the pilot and determine what is working and what may need to be improved upon.

Some of the metrics include:

  1. The number properties that receive code violations as a result of the inspectors walking through the neighborhood

  2. The number of priority health and safety violations that are identified in properties

  3. The number of cases that reach compliance after a code inspector reaches out to a property owner

  4. The percentage of proactively identified properties that have code violations

Testing a new program in one designated area is somewhat new to the City. Typically, we launch an entire program all at once. This process will allow us to make adjustments on a small scale and determine if the program is effective before expanding the effort city-wide. Once the TOP Pilot is complete, we will have data about the program that we will be able to provide to the next mayor, who will decide whether the TOP Pilot should be expanded city-wide.

If you have any questions about this program, please leave them in the comments section below!