Jun 22, 2022 - News

What Detroit residents are concerned about

Ombudsman complaints in Detroit, by department
Data: Detroit Ombudsman's Office; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Ombudsman Bruce Simpson, who's serving a 10-year term in the city's independent Ombudsman's Office, received 4,400 complaints from residents last year.

Why it matters: The office is charged with proposing changes based on these resident complaints, and last year, residents submitted issues involving the Building, Safety, Environment and Engineering Department (BSEED) significantly more than any other department.

  • Topics ranged from illegal trash dumping to reporting blighted properties and requests to demolish unsafe buildings, according to the February 2021-22 ombudsman's report.

Zoom in: Department of Public Works complaints included streets and sidewalks in need of repair, missed trash pickup and speed hump installation requests.

  • The Detroit Land Bank Authority had similar problems to the ones reported for BSEED, including requests to tear down unsafe buildings and get blight under control, as well as with illegal dumping.

What we're watching: Simpson did not return a request for comment on how often his office's suggestions lead to action from the city.


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