The Future of Code Enforcement, Housing & Equity
Jimena Veloz - Hester Street
Thursday, May 27th
3:00pm - 4:00pm EST / 12:00pm - 1:00pm PST
Co-sponsored by the AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Committee
Code enforcement is an important government tool designed to keep neighborhoods and the people who live in them safe and healthy. As first responders for the built environment, code enforcement officials have the power to restore distressed property, preserve neighborhoods, protect renters and low-income homeowners, increase neighborhood resiliency and strengthen community. This session will highlight the impacts of code enforcement on the health, safety and well-being of renters, tenants and residents across New York state. In the context of rising disinvestment in Black and Brown communities and a history of redlining and displacement, we will talk about how code enforcement agencies are addressing the root causes of unsafe and unhealthy housing conditions, putting equity front and center, and transforming their engagement with residents. Given the numerous housing challenges brought on by the pandemic, it is critical that we evaluate and re-imagine systems like code enforcement to advance healthier and more equitable communities.
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Jimena Veloz is a Project Manager with Hester Street, where she has managed projects that involve research and analysis of topics as varied as code enforcement, zoning and mental health, as well as capacity building for community-based organizations and local governments. She most recently managed Hester Street’s role in Cities RISE, an initiative to embed equity considerations and community engagement in code enforcement processes across 10 cities in New York State. Prior to Hester Street, Jimena worked on advocacy for transportation projects with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. She holds a Master's in Urban Planning from Harvard University.