This past summer The Lab @ DC and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser hosted Form-a-Palooza, an innovative public event that sought to identify confusing and time-consuming forms used by D.C. government agencies and redesign them so that they are easier and simpler to use.
After the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) Application form was identified as a good candidate for improvement, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) took part in the event and worked with D.C. residents, government staff, and experts in user-centered design and behavioral science to create a new prototype of the form.
In addition to participating in the workshop, the DCRA met with expeditors, held an open house, and surveyed 250 users to solicit feedback on how to best restructure the application form. The original four-paged complex application was condensed into three colorful, eye-friendly pages that user have found much easier to understand and fill out.
Check out the new and improved form here: Certificate of Occupancy Application
If you have questions about the Washington D.C. permitting timeline or process, please reach out to our Washington, D.C. office at 202-430-1831 and we will be happy to assist you.