Our 2015 assessment report found that many code enforcement cases went through the appeals board process multiple times. Cases would go back and forth for months, even years, between informal prosecutor meetings and the appeals board. A lack of access to resources for home repairs and property maintenance also contributed to these delays as many property owners in Youngstown simply did not have the financial or physical ability to make timely and effective repairs. Despite these challenges, for Phase III our research and technical assistance team sought to strengthen and streamline the existing Property Maintenance Appeals Board’s capacity and process while exploring more sustainable funding mechanisms to assist owners of single-family homes with repairs and property maintenance.
- Conducted background research on how other cities have developed more efficient and effective code enforcement/property maintenance hearing programs, including interviews with representatives from Baltimore, MD; Glenview, Illinois; and Syracuse and Rochester, New York. (See research matrix)
- Drafted an internal policy memo for the CE Superintendent and Law Office that recommends the City shift from the PM Appeals Board to a small panel (3-5) of individual administrative hearing officers. (see attached memo)
- Developed a DRAFT guide on the roles and responsibilities of PM Appeals Board members that could assist with the training and orientation of current members of the appeals board and future hearing officers. (see DRAFT guide)