The mission of the Office of Neighborhood Services is to improve the quality of life for Columbia’s residents through fairly and swiftly enforcing city codes related to residential life and build a sense of community by offering valuable volunteer opportunities, providing resources for neighborhood leaders to solve issues independently and managing donations to support our community.
In September of 1999, the Neighborhood Response Team (NRT) was formed by the City of Columbia to address neighborhood concerns in the central city. The NRT consists of various city agencies that work together in an effort to address quality of life issues. This philosophy of “fixing broken windows” includes working in a proactive partnership with citizens to identify and solve problems. Through the development of the NRT, City agencies began partnering as well, to try to solve the central city's problems together. Identified by a community survey in 1999, these main concerns of residents in the area include illegal drug activity, trash, abandoned vehicles and dilapidated housing.
The main city agency involved with NRT is the Office of Neighborhood Services. Inspectors survey the designated NRT area weekly, with walking inspections conducted from March to November of each year. Only those things that can be observed from the street, such as roof deterioration, peeling paint, debris in yard, etc., are noted. In the event that a property is found with conditions that do not meet city property maintenance codes, the owner is asked to take corrective action. The city has several programs in place to assist eligible homeowners in financial need to bring their properties back into code, including housing rehabilitation and code deficiency abatement.
In the case of rental property, rental owners are subjected to the provisions of the City’s Rental Compliance law. Rental property owners can also take advantage of the Dilapidated Building Removal program if they feel the structure is beyond repair.
Thank you for your interest in the City of Columbia's Neighborhood Response Team. For more information, please contact call (573) 874-7248 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.