Strategic Code Enforcement Management Academy 2021

Now Accepting Applications for the June 24-June 25, 2021 Academy

Founded in 2017, SCEMA is a joint program of the University of Memphis School of Law and Neighborhood Preservation, Inc. devoted to elevating the field of code enforcement and building a network of showcase communities. SCEMA provides the rare opportunity for peer learning among code enforcement programs from diverse cities, counties, and towns that want to enhance, expand or share their transformations to strategic code enforcement.

YOU and your team are invited to the Fifth Annual Strategic Code Enforcement Management Academy (SCEMA) held virtually on June 24-25, 2020. This two-day, team building workshop is designed for local government code enforcement managers, attorneys and their community partners to adapt and tailor the core principles and practices of strategic code enforcement to the priority neighborhood challenges confronting each team’s community. The application will be open from March 1st, 2021 to May 3rd, 2021.


We will host two information sessions during the application period. The first information session will be held on March 12th from 11:30 to 12:30 CST and the second information session will be held on April 23rd from 11:30 to 12:30 CST.

Join us to hear from Academy Faculty and past participants on what you can expect to learn at SCEMA and what other cities have been able to accomplish after attending SCEMA. Featuring senior faculty members Danny Schaffzin and Joe Schilling this session will also include an extended opportunity to chat with Academy faculty and have your questions about attendance and the application process answered.

Register for information Session #1
Register for Information Session #2

This past fall and winter, the Strategic Code Enforcement Management Academy presented a series of lectures from alumni cities and faculty members. Through these topic deep dives and city highlights, participants gained a preview of key concepts covered in depth in the academy and learned how cities have been able to apply lessons learned from the academy and peer cities to improve their communities. For more information about the lecture series please contact us at

Reimagining Strategic Code Enforcement: Putting Equity Front and Center

Friday , February 26th at 11:30am CST / 12:30pm EST
Join us at 11:30 am CST or 12:30 pm EST on Friday, February 26th to learn more from SCEMA Faculty Members Nisha Baliga and Jimena Veloz on the Hester Street Collaborative’s work on the frontlines with local code enforcement agencies and their community partners to revamp existing code processes and procedures that can cause unequal and unjust impacts on the health, safety and well-being of renters, tenants and residents.

In the context of rising disinvestment in Black and Brown communities and a history of redlining and displacement, the Hester Street team will share their experiences and strategies for how code enforcement agencies can address the root causes of unsafe and unhealthy housing conditions, put equity front and center, and transform their engagement with residents. Given the numerous housing and neighborhood challenges brought on by the pandemic, communities must reevaluate existing code enforcement programs and reimagine a more strategic, systematic approach that can advance healthier and more equitable communities.

Nisha Baliga: Co-Executive Director
Nisha Baliga has worked extensively with public agencies, community
organizations, cities, and private institutions on master plans, programming
studies, and urban design frameworks. Before Hester Street, Nisha worked as a
Senior Associate in the Urban Design and Planning Studio at Beyer Blinder Belle for more than 10 years. Nisha’s experience includes project for the New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York City Department of City Planning, New York State, Princeton University and Aga Khan University.

Jimena Veloz: Program Manager
Jimena Veloz is interested in planning as an interdisciplinary field that explores the interaction of people and place: how we build the spaces we live in and how we organize to do so. At Hester Street, Jimena has managed projects as varied as code enforcement, zoning and mental health, as well as capacity building for community-based organizations and local governments. She is currently working on Cities RISE, a project to embed equity considerations and community engagement in code enforcement processes in 10 cities in New York State.

For more information please contact us at

The Spirit of St. Louis: How Cross-Sector Partnerships and Collaboration Fuel Systems Change to Reclaim Vacant Properties

Friday , January 22nd at 11:30am CST / 12:30pm EST
Join us at 11:30 am CST or 12:30 pm EST on Friday, January 22nd to learn more about St. Louis’ cross sector collaborations and forging of strategic alliances and partnerships. St. Louis is a three time SCEMA alumnus city
Code enforcement cannot effectively abate vacant properties without the commitment and support of its public officials and community leaders.  One of SCEMA’s core tenets is having cross-sector teams, comprised of code enforcement directors and staff, community leaders, nonprofits, attorneys, and city/county officials, work on these relationships and forge stronger partnerships during the two-day June Academy.  Our January Seminar features the St. Louis journey in building one of the most robust community collaboratives to combat vacant properties, one that SCEMA has worked with and helped to enhance.
The St. Louis Vacancy Collaborative is a coalition of community members, private and non-profit stakeholders, and city agencies committed to reducing vacant property in St. Louis.  The Collaborative helps to coordinate existing vacancy efforts under one umbrella and empowers the public and private sectors to work together toward solutions.  It convenes committees and working groups to facilitate systemic change, advance new policies, share success stories, and support neighborhood-centric solutions.  Since its informal beginnings in 2015 and its formal launch in 2018, the Collaborative has experienced both wins and challenges in its efforts to build and sustain a coalition of the willing and advance shared goals.  Learn from members of the Collaborative about how they built their coalition and examples of the kinds of initiatives that have grown out of their work together.

Building Blocks for Effective, Efficient and Equitable Code Enforcement- featuring Michael Braverman, former City of Baltimore Housing Commissioner

Friday, December 4th at 11:30am CST / 12:30pm EST
On Friday, December 4th  Mr. Braverman shared information on  the  essential “building blocks” to ensure that a communities’ code enforcement program is effective, efficient and equitable

Michael Braverman served as the Housing Commissioner for the City of Baltimore from 2017-2020. With 30+ years of experience with Baltimore City, beginning as a prosecutor, Michael has played a key role in crafting many of Baltimore’s neighborhood revitalization strategies. As a Deputy Commissioner, he reengineered the Housing Department’s code enforcement operations, greatly reducing response times while increasing outputs. He was an architect of Baltimore’s Vacants to Value program, directing its innovative receivership and strategic demolition components, and an essential collaborator on Project CORE, which provides unprecedented State funding for blight elimination in Baltimore. In his role as Commissioner of Housing, he led the effort to create both a comprehensive framework for community development and an effective, integrated community development agency with new resources to implement it. Over the last decade Michael has also dedicated time to work with practitioners, researchers and students both nationally and abroad.