Public Oversight Mechanisms


Advisory Committee:  Public oversight of the proactive rental inspection program is often accomplished by an advisory committee made up of key stakeholders that have the ability to advise the city, make recommendations, and ultimately guide any necessary changes to the program.

  • When Rochester adopted its lead ordinance in 2006, it also adopted Resolution 24, which directed the city to convene a Citizen Advisory Group to provide advice to the administration as the ordinance was being implemented.  Resolution 24 mandated that a majority of the membership of the Citizen Advisory Group must be made up of residents of the target neighborhoods.
  • Cleveland’s lead ordinance mandates the creation of a Lead-Safe Advisory Board.  The Lead-Safe Advisory Board (1) recommends improvements to the City’s lead-safe policies and procedures, (2) provides quarterly reports on the progress of the Lead-Safe Certification requirement, (3) hires an outside entity to produce impact analyses of the Lead Safe Certification program, and (4) reports on the impact analyses to the city council and other key agencies and stakeholders.

Lead Safe Auditor:  Another public accountability mechanism is for a lead ordinance to require the city designate a lead-safe auditor.  In Cleveland, the Lead-Safe auditor monitors the City lead-safe certification process to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. The Lead-Safe Auditor will also maintain a list of certified inspectors and contractors and coordinate regular monitoring and reporting with the Lead-Safe Advisory Board.

Ombudsperson:  The Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition recommended the city create a position of Lead Safe Ombudsperson to serve as a public-facing resource to members of the community who are impacted by the Lead Safe Certificate system. Although this recommendation did not make it into the final law, the coalition recommended the Lead Safe Ombudsperson should be responsible for: 

  •  Representing the interests of the public by investigating complaints of noncompliance of the Lead Safe Certificate standards; 
  • Resolving disputes between parties including: tenants, landlords, contractors, and inspectors.  
  • Recommending improvements in the Lead Safe Certificate procedures, policies, and practices. 
  • The Lead Safe Ombudsperson could be appointed by the City of Cleveland and/or housed in an independent agency with authority and resources.

Accessing Information and Resources:  In addition to making lead inspection information available online through a publicly-accessible GIS mapping database, cities can also take additional steps to help residents access relevant information about its lead programs.  Cleveland established a Lead Safe Resources Center. The Lead Safe Resource Center will act as a one-stop place for education, information and help for landlords, renters and homeowners.  Similarly, Omaha’s website provides an easy-to-navigate clearinghouse of lead information for landlords, renters, and homeowners.