MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A new program is already helping property owners in Miami-Dade County avoid construction project pitfalls.
The Homeowner and Small Business Permit Assistance Program is completely free to county residents. Miami-Dade officials said the program was launched to help homeowners and their projects get to the finish line, hassle-free.
“I don’t know of any other jurisdiction that has a dedicated team that can actually lead homeowners and small business owners through a permitting process,” said Sergio Ascunce, assistant chief of the Miami-Dade County Building. “We’ll start with a permit application, like filling out our permit application, making sure they get the proper set of plans from a design professional.”
Ascunce said the program helps homeowners and business owners who have hired a contractor or are handling projects themselves.
“Here is a person who will take them by the hand, step by step, through the process,” he explained.
Think of it as the county’s building concierge service.
A small team of about half a dozen workers has already helped more than 9,600 homeowners since the program launched in 2019.
Assistance is for people starting new construction, remodeling, and anyone working to clear violations.
Lorie Rodriguez said the program was a godsend. Rodriguez inherited his family’s farm in Perrine in 2020.
Soon after, he said, county code enforcement officials were citing him for building violations.
Rodriguez, who is a traveling veterinarian, said she hired someone to help clear up the violations.
“It didn’t turn out the way I expected,” he said. “This person didn’t do the job.”
Rodriguez said that through the permit assistance program, he was able to clear his violations and pass inspections.
“Every time you talk about government, you talk about how things aren’t as practical as they should be,” Rodriguez said. “This is a very good program. It’s not broken, don’t try to fix it.”
County officials said they have helped more than 2,600 property owners resolve unauthorized work issues and more than 400 small businesses resolve zoning issues.
“There’s the old adage: It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission,” Ascunce said. “We want to get away from that. We want to make it easy to do business.”
For more information on the Miami-Dade Small Business Permit Assistance program, click here.
Although Broward County does not have a designated program, residents of unincorporated Broward, or cities with which the county contracts, can always contact the county with questions about permits and code. Click here to view the Broward County Code Enforcement webpage.
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