The Real Deal New York

DOB reforms call for 320 new jobs, $120M infusion

Changes to "vastly improve" agency: de Blasio

May 14, 2015 02:20PM

Rick Chandler Bill de Blasio

From left: Rick Chandler and Bill de Blasio

The city’s Department of Buildings announced plans Thursday to “fundamentally reform the agency” that will include 320 new positions and an infusion of $120 million over four years.

The reforms will include changes to the Department of Buildings’ “safety and development operations, customer service, transparency and our collaborative relationships with other city and state agencies and authorities,” department commissioner Rick Chandler said in the report.

The plans call for the department’s first ever risk management office to determine liability, as well as the introduction of a code of conduct and enhanced legal action against code violators.

They will also create a unit to process affordable housing projects, hope to consolidate building codes to enhance compliance and will offer project advocates to resolve project complications, according to the New York Observer

In a statement, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the reforms will “vastly improve the service New Yorkers receive from the Department of Buildings.” De Blasio called for “fundamental reform” at the agency in State of the City address in February, promising to “speed up inspections and cut bureaucracy.”

The department was caught in a widespread housing fraud and bribery scandal earlier this year. [NYO] — Rey Mashayekhi