Time to Crunch the Numbers
The students began their quest by meeting with DCRA’s Office of Innovation and its deputy chief building officer to gain a better understanding of the available data and set realistic goals to help optimize the process and maximize resident safety.
Using existing DCRA data, the students identified trends and used them to build risk profiles, taking into consideration the history of prior violations and of complaints based on keywords, renovation dates, license status, ownership type and more.
The students concluded that DCRA could keep the process random while effectively identifying housing units in need of inspection by applying weighted probabilities to the housing units selection process.
“The impact that we are having is really enabling [DCRA] to leverage the information they have to be better at maintaining safe housing for District residents,” Brodnax explains. “This has an impact on potentially thousands of DC residents, many of whom are part of vulnerable populations.”