DCRA NEWS | A Regulatory Affair | April - July 2019

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April -July 2019 | Volume 4 | Issue 4

Message from the Director

Director Ernest Chrappah




As we head into the middle of summer, we are excited by the progress our digital transformation has already made.


In less than six months, we have made new digital tools available, streamlined our enforcement process, and are planning to launch a pilot program this summer that will help keep rental housing units safe and livable.


Although these are significant steps, it’s important that our customers reap the benefits of our progress. Your feedback helps determine what works and what adjustments need to be made.


As we continue our transformation, DCRA will strive to be ambitious, bolder and more resourceful when it comes to the delivery of our services and addressing our customers' needs.


In the months ahead, we look forward to continuing to share our ideas and progress.


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Ernest Chrappah 


Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs


Did You Know?

DCRA Launches Property Inspector Pilot Program


The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) has launched an Inspection Training pilot program which will train residents to become vacant building and housing inspectors. The program aims to allow participants to earn extra income while helping the agency keep pace with the District’s growing demand for inspections. The training is free and will include class work, field training, and exams. This program is part of a series of efforts to strengthen consumer protection by streamlining housing code compliance and enforcement activities.


Prospective program participants must be 18 years or older and pass a basic background check (fingerprinting required). District residency is preferred. 


Training will begin this month. Participants who successfully complete training and pass all required exams can expect to begin conducting inspections this fall. 


For more information and to sign up to receive updates, visit dcra.dc.gov/inspection-training-program.


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DCRA In Your Neighborhood


DCRA, in partnership with Think Local First DC, has held two installments of “DCRA In Your Neighborhood,” a free event to help support local small business owners and entrepreneurs start and build businesses in their communities.


On Thursday, May 23, the first event was held in Ward 4 at Petworth Citizen and Reading Room. The second installment was held on Tuesday, June 25 in Ward 8 at Busboys & Poets. Each event featured onsite services that included corporate registration, basic business licenses, vending, and special event licensing.


DCRA staff was on hand at both locations to answer questions and help submit license applications and corporate registrations. To view photos from the event please click here.  


Our next event will be held on Thursday, July 25 from 9 am to 12 pm at The Coupe - 3415 11th Street NW Washington, DC 20010. RSVP at bit.ly/dcraiyn


Stay tuned as we schedule more events and pop up in your neighborhood!


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'Build It In DC' Creates Positive Buzz and Excitement with Attendees


In May, DCRA held its fifth annual “Build It In DC,” a half-day conference focused on creating thriving businesses and communities, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.


Director Ernest Chrappah delivered the keynote address, providing details on Vision 2020, DCRA's plan to increase customer value and operational efficiency. 


Hundreds of attendees also participated in three breakout sessions that examined building thriving businesses, vibrant communities, and building a sustainable green future.


Savvy business owners and entrepreneurs listen attentively to a discussion during a Build It In DC panel

DCRA Streamlines Housing Code Complaince


DCRA has launched a series of efforts to streamline its housing code compliance and enforcement activities.


In May, a Notice of Infraction (NOI), instead of a Notice of Violation (NOV) was issued by housing inspectors, whenever a housing code violation is not addressed.  Along with speeding up the process, an NOI also includes an order to complete necessary repairs and a fine based on the type of code violations cited. View the new streamlined inspection process here.  


Other enhancements include inspectors using mobile tablets to access a housing provider’s violation history and other relevant data, and submit inspection reports from the field; rental housing providers receiving electronic alerts for housing code violations; and a map visualization of housing code violations throughout the city available on the DCRA Dashboard.




Event HIghlight

Spring Homeowner Residential Construction Series Recap


DCRA just wrapped up our Spring Homeowner Residential Construction SeriesMore than 300 people attended our evening workshops. The series, held monthly from April to June, was designed to help homeowners prepare for home improvement projects and protect their home during larger projects and/or small renovations. In case you missed it, you can watch each workshop in its entirety and download the presentations on our website.


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Upcoming Events

Understanding Tenant’s Rights

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

1100 4th Street SW, 4th Floor Room E-200

Washington, DC 20024

Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/47598


Senior Entrepreneurship Program

Thursday, July 18, 2019

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Washington Senior Center

3001 Alabama Avenue SE

Washington, DC 20020

Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46524


DCRA In Your Neighborhood

Thursday, July 25, 2019

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

The Coup

3415 11th St NW

Washington, DC 20010

Register: bit.ly/dcraiyn


Building a More Inclusive Business

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

1100 4th Street SW, 3rd Floor Room E-300

Washington, DC 20024

Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/47133


Learn the Process of Starting a Business at the DC Public Library

August 5, 2019

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library

3162 Mount Pleasant St NW

Washington, DC 20010

Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46347


Franchising 101

August 12, 2019

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

1100 4th Street SW, 3rd Floor Room E-300

Washington, DC 20024

Register: dcrasbrc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46849


Recent Livestreams


Proactive Inspection Portal Overview Training

An introduction to the Online Proactive Inspection Portal, which allows you to easily update information and pay proactive inspection program fee(s).


Licensed Design and Industrial Trade Professionals: Partners in Safety Workshop

Hear from DCRA’s Industrial Trade Board and Architecture and Design Board administrators about how the two boards are ensuring professional licenses are in compliance with regulations and requirements set forth by DCRA. Licensing professionals are very important in the construction world when ensuring building safety. These particular board administrators are at the forefront of licensing our tradesmen and architects. Learn more about how to become licensed in either field.


Homeowner Common Permit & Plan Review Pitfalls Workshop

Avoid common pitfalls for permit and plan review. Learn what mistakes to avoid and how to be in compliance with DC Construction Codes, laws, and regulations.


Homeowner Decisions to Make Before You Submit an Application to DCRA Workshop

Before you start, take control of your home remodeling and/or addition project. This workshop covers basic questions you should ask yourself before talking to a design professional and contractor. Experts from DCRA will review basic questions about plumbing, heating and cooling equipment, hot water heaters, insulation, windows, doors, bump up and outs, fire, and electrical and structural issues.


How DCRA Works & Protects Homeowners Workshop

Be prepared before you buy or start remodeling your home. This workshop will provide an overview of DCRA’s permit application process through the issuance of your building permit. Learn how to use online permitting tools, what permits you will need, how to submit plans to DCRA and permit costs. Additionally, we will cover how to hire design professionals, general contractors and DCRA tips to avoid being scammed.



For more information and to view additional livestreams of our workshops and meetings, visit dcra.dc.gov/livestreams.


DCRA Dashboard

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DCRA Dashboard is a tool that graphically displays DCRA permits, business and professional licenses, enforcement, and inspections data. The dashboards provide greater transparency, allowing customers to take a look at DCRA’s performance.


If you have any questions regarding this newsletter, please contact the DCRA Communications Team at dcracommteam@dc.gov. DCRA actively uses feedback to improve our delivery and services. Please take a minute to share your feedback on how we performed in our last engagement. Subscribe to receive DCRA news and updates.