Over the past two years, permitting software has become a popular agenda item among local governments. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the demand for more online technology capabilities to limit the need for in-person engagement. Meanwhile, the housing crisis is requiring more streamlined permitting solutions to speed–up local housing development.
In Canada, permitting software finally took center stage after the federal budget announced new funding for local governments to modernize their permitting systems under the Housing Accelerator Fund. As local governments in Canada await further details of the fund, they are beginning to consider permitting software that checks all of their boxes.
PSD Citywide knows local governments. Like the rest of our technology stack, our permitting software offers a holistic solution to save you time and resources. PSD Citywide Permitting enables your organization to review, approve, and store building permit applications in one system to achieve a more efficient and accurate permit process.
In this article, we highlight just some of the ways permitting software, or e-permitting, is helping to drive efficiency and improve accuracy.
Driving Efficiency with Permitting Software
One of the first major advantages of permitting software or e-permitting capabilities is the degree of efficiency it provides for your existing administrative and public works teams. First, offering such a solution makes it easier for your residents and stakeholders to submit applications. With e-permitting, citizens can submit permit applications electronically from your organization’s website to auto-generate a request in the PSD Citywide Permitting system. They can even see the status of their application and get notifications, ensuring a faster and more streamlined experience.
Better yet, e-permitting can facilitate online payment which greatly reduces the traditional back and forth between the applicant to collect the corresponding fees. The PSD Citywide solution can manage permit fees, development charges, and refundable fees – all within the application.
Once a permit application is received, administrative teams can save time and be more efficient by having centralized access to all application information such as digital drawings, property details, and applicant contact information. This helps to improve efficiency in the permit review and approvals process, eliminating the need to gather information across multiple systems or sort through paperwork. Once approved or declined, the applicant can be automatically notified of the status and any required follow-up.
However, the efficiencies from e-Permitting aren’t simply limited to the submission and approvals process, it also helps with inspections as well. With PSD Citywide and the mobile app, inspectors have access to personal task lists, property records, previous violations, and past inspection results to streamline the inspection process. The end result is a more efficient method for quickly approving the entire permitting process to help get things moving in your community.
How Permitting Software Improves Accuracy
The second way e-Permitting adds value is through improvements to the overall accuracy of information gathered and relied on during the entire permitting process. With customizable online forms, you can ensure that all essential information is collected by the applicant at the time of submission. There is no longer a need to decipher what is being requested from old paper forms and drawings. Everything can be submitted electronically as a single application which can be easily reviewed in a more comprehensive and accurate manner.
Administrative users can access information on property owners, addresses, roll numbers, assessed values, PIN numbers, zoning, square footage, and current use. Since everything is integrated, the opportunity for errors caused by duplicate or manual entry is greatly reduced.
This also contributes to more accurate information when it comes to reporting. With PSD Citywide Permitting, the system can generate ready-to-use standard reports or custom reports by permits, permit types, and GL Code. This also includes the regulatory reports mandated by Statscan, CMHC, MPAC, and Tarion. With all permit data in a single and secure cloud-based location, you can generate more accurate reports at the click of a button and reduce errors caused by compiling information across different sources.
With strong demand for new housing globally, the ability to streamline the permitting process through more efficient processes while relying on more accurate information to make decisions is paramount. This is why permitting software or e-Permitting is such a popular option and the focus of funding in certain jurisdictions. With PSD Citywide Permitting, you can drive efficiency and accuracy to greatly speed up permit applications with a convenient online portal for users, have more accurate and complete information to streamline the approvals process, and ensure inspections run more smoothly. You can also rely on more accurate data for faster and more informative reporting to help move your community forward.