Project Advocate Program

The Department implemented the citywide Project Advocate program initiative in 2006. The goal of the initiative is to provide customers with a single point of contact (a Project Advocate) within the Department and its borough offices to assist in the resolution of technical and operational issues relating to their project or property.

Recognizing the value to the industry the Department has strengthened the program by adding additional advocates in Borough Offices, the Development and Inspections Hub, and also in Construction Safety Unit. Home owners, design professionals, developers and industry representatives may now avail their services to seek technical and operational guidance essential to undertake and complete projects in a compliant and timely manner.

Service Goals

Project Advocates engage and assist the community served by the Department to assist in understanding various project requirements, by providing clear and reliable technical information, and by offering operational guidance. The goals of the Project Advocate are to:

  • actively engage and assist the community served by DOB

  • act as a single-point of contact Department liaison on technical and operational issues for the community

  • assist and coordinate with other City Agencies

  • offer customers initial project consultations, and coordination to all stakeholders

As technical and operational liaisons, Project Advocates assist large and complex projects to help resolve issues up front, create a roadmap for the project, and facilitate efficient decision making in the borough offices. Additionally, their services coordinate project requirements across various DOB Units, and connect other City agencies and institutions to foster interagency communication and collaboration.

Areas of Advocacy and Services Provided

  • Initial project consultations

  • Project submission requirements, review, approvals and permits

  • Construction work special and DOB inspections, and permit sign-off

  • Project completion and Certificate of Occupancy

  • Assistance with correcting and resolving DOB and ECB violations

  • Open Applications initiative

  • Affordable Housing initiative

Project Advocates are also responsible to implement and coordinate key DOB initiatives to assist owners and property managers with the following:

Open Application Initiative

  • For buildings that do not have a CO or only have TCO, consider issuing final CO

  • Allow some applications and violations to remain open while issuing final CO

Affordable Housing

  • Facilitating internal and external interagency handoffs and coordination

  • Assisting design professionals, and project managers in all phases of a project

Responsibility: Applicant, Building Owner and Representative

The intent of the Project Advocate program is to offer a central resource at DOB that acts as a single-point of contact to provide technical and operational decision support for compliance with Code and all requirements. Services offered under the program by the Department are not a mechanism to bypass or skip any operational, technical or legal requirements and does not relieve the owner, applicant or contractor from their professional responsibilities.

How to use Project Advocate Services

Project Advocates are located in each borough office, as well as in the Development and Inspection Hub, and the Construction Safety Unit. Building owners and other involved individuals, professional engineers/registered, developers, or authorized representatives seeking consideration under this initiative may contact the Project Advocates.

Project Advocate Service Request Form

To improve the agency’s utilization of resources, all industry requests for a Project Advocate must be submitted through the Project Advocate Service Request Form to schedule an appointment. This will reduce unnecessary revisits and wait time by allowing the Project Advocates to efficiently prepare and conduct the required research prior to the meeting. Home owners can utilize walk-in hours available in each borough.

Submit the form and all essential project information to: − for projects in Manhattan − for projects in the Bronx − for projects in Brooklyn − for projects in Queens − for projects in Staten Island

The borough office will review the submission and respond with a decision and follow-up information.

Request for Certificate of Occupancy with Open Application(s) Cover Letter - PER 20

PER20 form must be completed to summarize the issues and attach any supporting documentation for review by the borough Project Advocate. The submission must include pertinent details or issues that impact the project and copies of relevant documents.

Requests for service will be reviewed in the respective borough office, and if accepted, the designated contact must schedule follow-up appointment(s) and bring all applicable paperwork and relevant documents for review with the Project Advocate.