The New York State Attorney General launched Cities for Responsible Investment and Strategic Enforcement (Cities RISE) in 2017 to build the capacity of municipalities to use housing and community data across agencies to better address and transform properties affected by the housing crisis. Project partners identified a need for technical assistance and capacity building to support equitable code enforcement decisions and to set municipalities up for success in partnership with community members.
Hester Street worked to build agencies’ capacity statewide, assessing the equity impacts of code enforcement and developing a set of tools to support decision making that more equitably addresses foreclosure, abandonment and disparate impacts in all 18 participating municipalities. Working with representatives of the Center for Community Progress, Reinvestment Fund and the Urban Institute, we conducted intensive research and studied the code enforcement process for trends, best practices, needs and opportunities. We conducted stakeholder interviews with code enforcement staff, public agency staff and representatives of community-based organizations.
Our deliverables included a code enforcement process map of choice points and their impact on community members to support more equitable outcomes. To identify opportunities for intervention and partnership, we are analyzing physical assets and programs and developing an evaluation framework for inclusive, equitable code enforcement.