(Background - a previous answer to this question--not sure how to link it--tells us City of Chicago publishes building violations.)

We've developed a free mobile app (Vancouver RentalDog, currently in iTunes) that allows people to identify licensed rental buildings in Vancouver, which have outstanding bylaw infractions. Our data is pulled from City of Vancouver and hosted on our server for access by mobile clients.

Any suggestions for contacts in other cities that have similar datasets? We're more than willing to work with IT staff to put their data into Open.


4 Answers 4


A growing number of city open data sets is federated to http://Cities.Data.gov. There are quite a few rental building violation datasets accessible: http://www.data.gov/cities/Community/Cities/Datasets You can find some additional information at http://Counties.Data.gov and http://States.Data.gov. These include non-Socrata based local governments as well.

Specifically, you might look at:

(Disclaimer: I am the Evangelist for Data.gov)


You might find some on Edmonton in this dataset, but I haven't managed to find any others. You might try contacting portal administrators or submitting FOI requests.

Contacting the portals

Socrata data portals have a page where you can suggest a dataset. I suspect that other data portal software has such a page too. You can adapt this script to submit the same request across all Socrata portals.

Submitting an FOI request

To submit an FOI request, you send a letter to the appropriate FOI officier.

  • The Edmonton dataset you linked doesn't include any data about bylaw violations in rental buildings though. Thanks for the info about requesting a dataset!
    – dfdumaresq
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 13:21
  • As you mention Socrata -- as they're used by quite a few governments, they might have a list of the APIs by city, so you could then automate searching them all.
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 18:02

Thomas Levine did an amazing job collating data sets found on socrata data portals. You should definitely check out his blog post about the project. In doing his project, he created a csv (here), with descriptions of all datasets (warning - huge!) of all the open data portals listed on the Socrata status page. (I would suggest re-running the scripts now, to get updated information.)

As a first pass, I would suggest looking through this list and finding any housing infraction data you can. Secondly, look for other building inspections data and what agency is responsible for the data. Those will be the agencies likely to have rental housing infraction data.

  • Thanks! I'm not sure if you're suggesting I re-do the scripts, or is that a side comment to Mr. Levine?
    – dfdumaresq
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 2:00
  • Oops! I meant that you should re-run them, not re-do. I edited my answer to reflect this.
    – RCA
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 18:30
  • Thomas Levine does excellent work. He can write code, but he also can interpret statistical results. I don't know how to replicate both! Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 16:02

I googled the following and search 4 pages. All I could find were NYC and DC.

NYC: http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/pr/HPD-Open-Data.shtml

DC: http://data.dc.gov/Metadata.aspx?id=7

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