May 1, 2024 - News

What Detroit residents are making complaints about

Data: Detroit Ombudsman's Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Ombudsman Bruce Simpson, who leads the city's independent Ombudsman's Office, received 4,020 complaints from residents last year.

Why it matters: The oversight office acts as a mediator between the city and residents, addressing their concerns and proposing policy changes.

Zoom in: From February 2023 to February 2024, the department residents had the most concerns about was the Building, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department (BSEED), per the ombudsman's recent report.

  • BSEED's share of complaints has been on the rise, from 1,583 (40% of the total) in 2020-2021 to 1,996 (50%) this recent cycle.

Between the lines: Common categories of complaints included illegal dumping, high grass, dangerous buildings, demolitions, abandoned vehicles and sidewalk repair.

What they're saying: Based on complaints, Simpson proposed in his annual report to increase standards for lead inspections and improve the demolition deferral process so salvageable properties don't get torn down.

Complaints can always be submitted through an online form. Residents can also call the Ombudsman's Office at (313) 224-6000.

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