Division personnel annually inspect the exteriors of the Village's single-family, two-flat and three-flat residences looking for deterioration and deferred maintenance to prevent possible health and safety problems and maintain the Village's high property values and attractive appearance. Through the Neighborhood Walk program, Village inspectors guard Oak Park's aging housing stock from decay, and encourage maintenance of all residential properties.
Each year, approximately one third of the Village's housing stock is inspected through the program. Property maintenance inspectors, on foot, check for code violations such as peeling paint, crumbling chimneys, sagging eaves and missing downspouts. Other examples of violations identified through the walk include rotted wood, missing handrails, garages in need of repair, improper parking surfaces and abandoned vehicles. Inspectors also check for construction without permits. In addition, inspectors look for maintenance and safety issues such as debilitated siding, dangerous stairs, broken windows and missing street addresses that must be posted in the front and rear (with alley access) of each property to ensure identification by emergency services personnel.
Property owners are notified by letter if repairs must be made, and given a timetable for re-inspection. Residents who need more time to correct a violation should contact the inspector who signed the letter to set up a maintenance schedule and budget.