The Oakland Code Enforcement Project
The past several months have been both busy and productive for the neighborhood-based Oakland Code Enforcement Project now known as Oakwatch. Property owners cited by building inspectors are now beginning to appear in Housing Court as a result of our collaboration with City of Pittsburgh representatives, and residents are busy preparing for the next wave of student move-ins this August.Judge Ricciardi speaks to Oakwatch members
As an example of how Oakwatch is working with residents, we are currently creating an action plan to cultivate productive relationships between the students and long-term residents of Oakland, and to prepare the neighborhood for the upcoming flux of students this August. OPDC has hired a student-resident liaison to help manage this project, and the University of Pittsburgh Student Government Board is providing support from the institutional end. If you’re interested in helping us implement some new, out-of-the-box strategies to help foster these relationships and improve the quality of life in Oakland, please send us an email.
Oakwatch is also monitoring many building code issues, from taking residents’ complaints, to working with inspectors to file the proper citations, to attending Housing Court. A “Top 10” list of the community’s highest priority cases can be viewed here. Oakwatch meets on the third Wednesday of each month, alternating between noon and 6 p.m. meetings to help ensure residents can pick a convenient time to attend. Our next meeting is June 20th at 12pm in Forbes Tower in the 11th Floor Board Room.
Lastly, the Project has a new name. It is now officially called Oakwatch: The Oakland Code Enforcement Project instead of the Oakland Code Enforcement Task Force. The new name helps avoid the code enforcement effort from being misidentified with the Oakland Task Force, a long-standing consortium of Oakland’s major institutions, businesses, and community groups. The code enforcement effort began last summer as a project of the Oakland 2025 planning process to help improve the quality of life throughout the Oakland community by insisting that property owners comply with building and zoning codes.
You can reach Oakwatch at 412.621.7863 ext. 27 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to recommend a well-kept property in your area to be featured in this newsletter, or if there’s an eyesore you think we should target in our efforts, let us know! We look forward to working with more community members and increasing the impact of our group’s work.
Co-Chair, Oakwatch: The Oakland Code Enforcement Project