Site reflects ongoing upgrades to building inspection services, and commitment to transparency and communications with public
PITTSBURGH, PA – November 19, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections has launched a new website that for the first time allows the public to search on property violations and track the corrective actions ordered to fix them.
For years, Pittsburgh building inspectors filed violation notices on paper systems, which meant it often took weeks for the notices to be issued and tracked. Starting this year PLI began building an online database to track violations in real-time, and now residents can access it at http://communitysafety.pittsburghpa.gov/Search.aspx. It lists all citations issued since October 15 of this year.
Users may enter an exact address, or can find a list of all violations issued on a whole street by entering the street name only. Records will indicate when PLI is scheduled to inspect a property; what violations were found; where those violations are located; what owners need to do to fix them; date of next inspection; and a docket number and court date if the City has filed for court intervention.
“It took a lot of patience and hard work, but PLI is finally making the leap in hyperspace from the 1980s to the cutting edge of technology,” Mayor William Peduto said.
The site is also a product of the upgrades Department Director Maura Kennedy and other PLI staff have made to create a single, unified set of business practices for the building inspection process. Inspectors now all use the same set of violation criteria, and have a mandated number of days until a follow-up re-inspection based on the severity of the violation. Furthermore the department has implemented new requirements to allow customers three attempts to cure violations before their properties are sent to court.
All of those upgrades are possible due to PLI’s new violations database. Besides supporting the new searchable violations website, the database is integrated with the City’s 311 system, and automatically routes customer service requests to the correct inspector’s work queue based on problem type and geographic area. The inspector is then sent to the address to check the issue, and by the following morning the data is entered into the system and a violation letter is issued.
The City has additionally invested in putting more inspectors on the streets: PLI is budgeted for 50 inspectors next year, up from 43 ten years ago.
“This is a moment of transformational change for the department. For the first time, there is true transparency, predictability, and accountability around the violations process,” Director Kennedy said. “We are bringing new efficiencies to the building inspection process that will help residents, property owners and inspectors alike.”