Tracking Housing Code Violations as Leading Indicators

Why keeping tabs on Housing Code Violations might actually matter to you.

By Starling Childs

Ginkgo has a feature that enables users to tap into a city's Open Data, that is data sources the government makes accessible to the public. Using your Ginkgo account you can draw a custom shape on the map and Ginkgo will email you whenever new records are created within that area you defined (see images below). For New York City, these alerts are available for the following data sources, with more being added regularly.

- 311 complaints

- Certificates of Occupancy

- Rodent Inspections

- Housing Code Violations

Let's take a look at how one of these sources of data might be useful. Take Housing code violations, for example. Housing code violations likely aren't the most exciting topic, but they can be useful indicators and clues about the dynamics of the city around us. In some cases, professionals can use these violations as indicators that inform their decisions about a specific market that they track. Here are some examples.

🌐 Real Estate Investors:

If you're into property development or investment, being in the know about housing code violations offers advantages into sizing up different opportunities. It's like having a heads-up on potential hurdles, helping you make savvy decisions and understand the nitty-gritty of specific areas.

Let's say you're tracking prospective deals in three different neighborhoods, and you set up a way to be notified about the new violations issued in each one. Perhaps the one that you thought the best site was in actually turns out to have a much higher incidence of violations than the other two. This type of “finger on the pulse” will start to give you clear indicators into small shifts in the property values for a given neighborhood's market.  

Ginkgo helps you keep tabs on a range of Open Data sources like Housing Code Violations for specific areas on the map.

🏢 Property Managers & Housing Associations:

If you’re managing properties, these notifications are handy for reaching out to neighbors who might be able to help you navigate similar issues and find the best contractors to get the job done. They help you stay ahead of the game, sort out issues before they become violations of their own, and keep your tenants happy and hassle-free.

🌳 Place Managers & Community Organizations:

If you’re managing public spaces like a Business Improvement District, you might find housing less relevant to your day to day. That said, any assistance you can lend to the property owners in your community will go hand in hand with the success of your neighborhoods improvement work. For instance, you might be able to align owners in need of similar property improvements with the same contractors as a way to save money and ensure consistent quality work.  If a roofer can focus on several different properties on the same block consecutively, then costs can be saved on materials the roofer can offer a lower rate because of the optimized job security for the duration of those projects.

👩‍⚕️ Health Professionals:

Unsurprisingly, housing conditions are closely tied to our health. For health professionals and consultants out there, getting notifications about new code violations offers a unique set of indicators into where their services may be needed most. It helps them spot potential health hazards and swoop in with targeted interventions to keep the community in top shape.

You'll be notified by email when new records are reported in your map area.

🏠 Home Buyers & Renters:

If you're on the lookout for a new place, these notifications are like your trusty sidekick. They spill the beans on whether a place is up to snuff, giving you the lowdown on safety and quality.

📈 Insurance Gurus:

In the insurance world, it's all about assessing risks. Knowing about housing code violations helps insurance professionals evaluate the lay of the land, influencing rates and coverage decisions. 

👷 Contractors & Trades Masters:

This one may be pretty obvious, but houses in need of repairs = jobs for those that fix houses. Using a tool like Ginkgo to track a prospective market for home improvement work enables contractors and others to reach out at a timely moment with an offer that caters to the specifics of a property owner's pain points. ie: "Hey I noticed you need to patch or replace your roof. We just did a job in your area and the customer shared this testimonial about the work we did. Let me know if I can provide you with a free consultation."

So, whether you're a real estate guru, a property management wizard, or even someone on the lookout for a cozy home, staying in the know about housing code violations could be part of your path to a safer, healthier, and more informed community.

Sign up for Ginkgo today, and take the first step to keeping up with city data like Housing Code Violations.

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