Regarding the article by Steve Gompel‚ Jun. 11‚ 2012
Actually, back in early 1998, a contingent of Housing Department staff from the City of Los Angeles flew up to see the San Francisco Bureau of Building Inspection's periodic inspection program. From some of what we learned, and combining the 25+ years of Code inspection experience the 3 of us had in the beginning, we crafted the Systematic Code Enforcement Program (SCEP). Over the next few years, our staff grew from 12 Inspectors to about 75, and along with 14 support programs, is now composed of about 200 staff. We are responsible for the periodic inspection of about 760,000 rental units on about 109,000 properties located throughout the 467 sq miles of the City of Los Angeles. Our program was very successful from the beginning, and went on to win the Harvard University Award for Innovations in American Government back in 2005, and is still a viable force in keeping the rental housing stock in the City of Los Angeles habitable and safe.
Please see: http://www.innovations.harvard.edu/awards.html?id=7497
and I have attached a photo of the actual Award!
Our current computer system, the Code, Compliance, Rent Information System (CCRIS) has an online complaint filing and tracking system that went public in 2005. Anyone can see the Nature of a Complaint, the date a Notice was sent to the owner, the inspection dates, and the date of compliance. There is also the (non-complaint based) periodic "Program" inspection activity listed. In most cases there is also a site photo of the building. You may see first-hand at the link below, and as an example, use County Assessor Parcel # 2350009018 or 11425 Cumpston to see what our system displays to the public.
Since 1998, we have been instrumental in encouraging a 2 Billion Dollar reinvestment into rental housing across the City of Los Angeles, and we owe a bit of thanks to the San Francisco Bureau of Building Inspections for the initial concept design of our program.
PS. We doubt that the San Francisco Bureau of Building Inspections ignores complaints as the article states. Now days anyone can publish anything that advances their advocacy. We sometimes have people question our response to complaints. We track every complaint, and our reports indicate that we respond to over 83% of the approx. 1100 complaints we receive each month in 72 hours or less. (A response can include the scheduling of an appointment.) The problems occur when either the complainant does not leave contact information, and we are unable to locate or observe the problem; we are given a wrong address, or an address that is not located within the City of Los Angeles; or the complaint is about a County Health Department, Fire Department, or Police Department concern that is out of our jurisdiction.