Issuing a permit means signing the permit, stamping, and handing the person the permit. Emailing permits require signing, stamping, copying, password protecting, and emailing. HPD requires you save every step to the computer for liability purposes (initial email request, password protected permits, and “sent” email).
It doesn’t take long, but it takes considerably longer than just physically issuing permits. HPD also has to double check everything at every step so that passwords are correct, dates are correct, the email is sent to the right person, etc.