Role of Neighborhood Improvement Specialists (NIS)

Neighborhood Improvement Specialists serve as advocate for community betterment and have a broad range of duties and responsibilities.


The primary purpose of Neighborhood Improvement Specialists (NIS) is to identify and address issues and provide follow up on these with Aldermen, citizens, neighborhood groups, block unit, police and City operating departments.  The primary objective of the NIS is to utilize problem solving skills, in partnership with the aforementioned persons and groups, to aggressively and proactively address physical and behavioral issues in their assigned area and to work as part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Team to share proper problem solving tools and mechanisms with citizens.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Address issues discussed in block unit, neighborhood and ward meetings, as well as those reported through the Citizens' Service Bureau (CSB); enter service requests and monitor the issues to successful resolution.
  2. Attend neighborhood meetings providing information and feedback at all meetings.
  3. Physically survey the assigned area in an organized fashion and on a regular basis, focusing on overdue service requests, vacant building, litter, illegal dumping and zoning issues as well as specific service requests under the scope of NST influence.
  4. Respond to residents complaints made through CSB or as given directly to the NIS.
  5. Monitor and evaluate specifically identified block or neighborhood problems and issues.
  6. Keep track of all vacant buildings in assigned area.
  7. Report unsecured vacant buildings and monitor all until secured.
  8. Submit service requests, with required information and photos, for all vacant buildings that qualify for the vacant building initiative inspection.
  9. Monitor all buildings condemned for occupancy.
  10. Monitor key predetermined sites for illegal dumping and trash in conjunctions with Forestry and the Environmental investigators.
  11. Prepare weekly reports of activity to be shared with the NSD Director, NSD Secretary, and the Alderman of the assigned area, including Cityworks and Problem Properties.
  12. Monitor hearing notices, such as those regarding the Board of Adjustment, Building Appeals, and Conditional Use.
  13. Monitor daily building permit activity.
  14. Share pertinent information with neighborhood groups and block units.
  15. Participate in special projects as assigned.
  16. Remove illegal signs in right of way per current NST procedure.
  17. Recruit new block captains/contacts
  18. Recruit block party participants for the annual National Night Out.
  19. In cooperation with other members of the problem properties team, identify and introduce potential nuisance properties, as found through research, personal observance, Aldermanic or citizen referral, or through routine research of police calls for service.
  20. Attend and update the NST problem property database with all information that may be needed in the event of a public hearing, resolving expired and inactive cases on a regular monthly basis.
  21. Monitor active public nuisance cases in assigned area by reviewing the monthly nuisance monitoring agenda.
  22. Post Public Nuisance letters, consent agreements, and hearing notices as defined in the ordinance, taking photographs for the problem properties database.
  23. Promote the City's initiatives related to neighborhood stabilization and quality of life.



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