Ub student housing


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Ub student housing

  1. 1. Department of Permit and Inspection Services<br />University Student Housing Initiative<br />Summary June 8, 2011<br />
  2. 2. For years, the problem of student housing around the University of Buffalo has been recognized as a problem but the various responses were met with poor results.<br />The actions taken were too broad, poorly timed, and too often in response to student activity that was injurious to the students or negatively impacted the neighborhood such as a keg party, year end move, injury or worse.<br />The Student Housing Problem<br />
  3. 3. The district inspector would write the property a letter of violation and then take the owner to court if the items were not corrected.<br />This method was slow, primarily addressed the exterior of the property, and interior orders for inspection were subject to obtaining a court order which is costly and time consuming.<br />The Former Method<br />
  4. 4. Starting in the Fall of 2010, the Department of Permit and Inspection Services began meeting with Councilmember Bonnie Russell, representatives from the University at Buffalo, community partners, the district court liaison, etc. to come up with a new method that focused the department’s limited resources specifically on the problem and strived to gain entry voluntarily.<br />The New Method<br />
  5. 5.
  6. 6. Increased marketing to students<br />
  7. 7. …led to increase in requests for inspections<br /><ul><li>Quick turnaround time by Brian
  8. 8. Letters of Violation issued quickly
  9. 9. Quick response from landlords
  10. 10. 8-10 requests this academic year</li></li></ul><li>On three weekends representatives from the University at Buffalo met with inspectors on three separate streets that were identified as having among the highest percentages of student housing in the district.<br />The City of Buffalo provided the inspectors.<br />The University of Buffalo identified student housing and sent out notification that City inspectors would be on their street on the respective date and time.<br />The Roll Out<br />
  11. 11. Housing Blitz<br /><ul><li>125 Homes visited over 3 weekends
  12. 12. 47 Internal Inspections Completed</li></li></ul><li>Nine inspectors from three separate divisions; multiple dwelling, district, and electrical, met at 9AM to knock on doors.<br />32 Homes were visited.<br />Two interiors were inspected.<br />Two letters of violation were sent to the owners of record.<br />This action supplemented the existing 21 letters of violation already active on the street.<br />Northrup Place- April 9th<br />
  13. 13. Nine inspectors from three separate divisions met at Noon with representatives from the University at Buffalo.<br />Students were notified prior to the date.<br />53 home were visited. <br />20 interior inspections were conducted. <br />19 letters of violations were issued for interior items bringing to 41 the total active files on the street. <br />Englewood- April 23rd<br />
  14. 14. Nine inspectors from three divisions met with representatives from the university at Buffalo at Noon.<br />Students were notified prior.<br />42 homes were visited.<br />21 interior inspections were conducted resulting in 19 interior letters of violations. In addition 14 exterior violations were issued.<br />This action resulted in 40 active cases on the street.<br />Merrimac- April 30th<br />
  15. 15. Good and Bad News<br />Good<br /><ul><li>Students were receptive
  16. 16. Other neighbors were pleased/appreciative
  17. 17. Some apartments had updated electrical, a couple had installed security systems
  18. 18. Some apartments were in good shape</li></li></ul><li>Bad<br /><ul><li>Absence of necessary working smoke and CO detectors was the norm
  19. 19. Two cases of illegal physical modifications – one egregious
  20. 20. Frequent instances of legal but insufficient electrical service for 2011 tenants</li></li></ul><li>Conducting the inspections in April was highly effective as students were willing to voluntarily provide access.<br />Prior notification made the process proceed smoothly.<br />Knocking on doors before noon was highly ineffective.<br />Having representatives from the University present helped to assuage any fears that the students may have had.<br />Summary<br />
  21. 21. Many homes were either without or did not have the required number of smoke detectors in the proper locations.<br />Many homes were missing carbon monoxide detectors.<br />Many of the homes had updated electrical services. There were still instances of 30 amp fuses being used were 15 amp fuses should have been.<br />Often times students removed smoke detectors when they activated and did not return them to their proper location.<br />Summary- cont’d.<br />
  22. 22. Inspectors instructed students in all homes that they entered that in order to have a safe living environment, they need to be conscious of overloading electrical outlets with appliances such as hair dryers, computers, televisions, etc.<br />Violations not corrected over the summer will be referred to Housing court prior to the start of the next school year.<br />Summary- cont’d.<br />
  23. 23. Challenges going Forward<br />2,000 – 3,000 students living from Bailey & LaSalle to Kenmore & Englewood<br />Exterior inspections aren’t typically enough for housing court to mandate an internal inspection<br />