DCRA Launches New Site, New Apps (and it’ll help students find safer housing)

DCRA launched a brand new website yesterday and, so far, it’s getting rave reviews.

http://dcist.com/2010/07/dcra_latest_to_get_new_dcgov_websit.php

http://www.thegeorgetowndish.com/the-latest/see-if-your-neighbors-landlord-has-license-rent

http://www.welovedc.com/2010/07/06/dcra-launches-one-stop-shop-for-property-info/

We’re still adding stuff and cleaning up some links, but it’s a good start.

But the reason for this post is to highlight our new PIVS application, which will allow you to search for whether or not your property is properly licensed, if it has a Certificate of Occupancy, what housing code violations have been issued and what permits and inspections have been done. The database goes back about 6-7 years, but will be a big help for folks.

So go to http://dcra.dc.gov and look for the PIVS icon right at the top under featured services. And let us know what you think. And take a look around the site.

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DCRA Live Chat Today 5/14 at 2 p.m. for #BuildingSafetyMonth

Join DCRA Chief Building Official Don Masoero today, May 14, 2010, at 2 p.m. to discuss building inspections and building safety by going to dcra.dc.gov/chat . We will go for at least an hour. Please come join us. If you’re on Twitter, send questions and use #buildingsafetymonth in your tweet and we’ll see it or just send a message to @DCRA.

Burleith Resident Creates Blog to Chronicle ‘Drunken’ Student Behavior

For the past two years, we’ve been working hard to get students to learn about building safety, to inspect their own homes, request city inspections and make sure they are renting from licensed landlords. We managed to get several hundred student properties inspected and as many new licenses have been issued. We are getting calls from students, parents and even professors about safety issues for of-campus student housing. While DCRA is not responsible regulating for student behavior – other than building safety issues – we do want to encourage all students to take as much responsibility for their actions as they have so far through our campaign. Try to be good neighbors. Try to clean up after yourselves. We’ve been so impressed with the initiative students have taken to make sure their off-campus housing is safe.

One Burleith resident has created a new blog to chronicle his experience living in the Georgetown area. What do you think of his effort? Let us know your thoughts. Will this work?

DCRA Heading To Howard University Tuesday for Off-Campus Housing Fair

Howard students, we’ll be on campus tomorrow morning and can answer any questions you may have about housing codes, help you find out if your landlord is licensed and any other questions you may have. Please stop by our booth. Where you live can be one of the most important decisions you make. Please be safe and learn what you need to ask your potential landlord before signing that lease.

Students: Campus Firewatch Coming to Capitol Hill, Needs Volunteers to tell Senators, Congressman Importance

Campus Firewatch, the leading national organization dedicated to campus/off-campus fire safety education, is coming to Capitol Hill on March 23, 2010 and is looking for volunteers to join them in talking to Senate and House offices about the importance of fire safety for the nation’s millions of college students. If you’re a student, parent, resident or just someone who is passionate about fire safety issues, please consider joining this important effort. Visit their site for more information and to sign up. There is no cost and it is a wonderful opportunity. From their site:

Since 2000, at least 136 people have died in campus-related fires. Here is a chance for students, parents, fire officials and fire safety advocates to make a difference for campus fire safety by working with Congress.

For the past 2 years we have been traveling to Capitol Hill and meeting with Members of Congress and their staff to discuss campus fire safety issues. As a result, the Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know became law, proclamations have been passed in the U.S. House and Senate designating September as National Campus Fire Safety Month, the College Fire Prevention Act passed the House in 2008 and other important pieces of legislation have been introduced.

Be a part of this vital effort to make campuses safer across the nation by joining in this important project in Washington, DC. It is only one day…but what a day it is. See what other students, parents and fire safety advocates had to say about the 2009 trip by clicking on the video above or click here to learn more – or, are you ready to be a part and make a difference?

You can learn more about this projectsign up on our contact list or get in touch with us if you have any specific questions.

Thisshouldbeillegal.com mentioned in GW Hatchet

There is a nice mention of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’ (DCRA) http://www.thisshouldbeillegal.com in the GW Hatchet online today.

From the story:

Another sticking point is getting to know the landlord to make sure he or she is legally allowed to rent space. To this end, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs has launched the Collegiate Off-Campus Housing Initiative, designed to protect students from unlicensed landlords.

As part of its campaign, the department provides a registry of all licensed landlords in the District, accessible at thisshouldbeillegal.com. In addition, the Web site allows tenants to request a housing inspection and free smoke detectors through the District’s Smoke Alarm Utilization and Verification Program.
– Mike Rupert