Liberty Wabash

Housing Survey

2017
                                 

Introduction    

In 2014, an Award was granted to the Howard Park Civic Association (HPCA) for its work on Youth Capacity Building programs. The program that was funded was the Community Housing Survey, were we identified properties in the Howard Park community that were vacant, or had apparent violations of the Baltimore City Housing Code. We recruited and trained high school students to canvas, and record potential problem properties. The success of the program expanded to other communities whose leadership wanted to revitalize.

 

As a result of unanimous vote of the Liberty Wabash Presidents Alliance, a proposal was submitted to conduct a housing survey in the 8 communities of Liberty Wabash. In July 2016 funding was provided from One Mile Radius Video Lottery revenue (SLOTS).


 In August 2017 we were cleared to begin the arduous task of visually inspecting each home, building, and empty lot for Baltimore City Housing Code violations.  In this report we’d like to share the results and a few interesting facts that may help encourage you and your neighbors to revitalize the community.


                   Our Community, Our Responsibility!


Update

Since we began this survey, our biggest challenge has been scheduling a meeting with the new Assistant- Superintendent of Code Enforcement of the northwest district & the inspectors assigned to the affected communities. As a result of the meeting, we were requested to send our data to Assistant-Superintendent Carter for distribution to the assigned Code Enforcement Officers for processing. This should result in violations and citations being issued where appropriate.


Since we began collecting data in late August,  some properties may need to be re-surveyed to ensure that no changes have occurred in the last 60 to 70 days. After all in some cases grass and weeds may have been cut or renovation work completed. This quality assurance step makes sure that data delivered to Code Enforcement is more current and accurate.


 Considering that our data is most relevant when it has been acted on in a timely manner and sanctioned by our code enforcement officers, we anticĂ­pate resolution to this issue soon. We have worked out all other challenges.


      In Summary our findings are as follow:

  1. There were 9983 properties surveyed in the 8 communities of Liberty Wabash.
  2. There are 351 properties with issues that violate the Baltimore City Housing Code to some degree to include Vacant, Unoccupied with hazards, or Environmental issues.
  3. The above numbers translates into 3% of the properties in these 8 communities are deprecated in some way.
  4. The kind of data collected includes ownership name and address, violations, citations, building permits, water & tax bill info, etc.
  5. To collect details on properties added to this data set, we used resources provided by the State Department of Assessment & Taxation (SDAT), Open Baltimore (Beta), BaltimoreHousing.org, LOVELAND, and BaltimoreCity.gov

To further illustrate the urgency of taking action to stabilize our communities, look at the following information for each of the 8 respective communities surveyed.


Activities: The table below shows a relevant view of the data we have collected so far.


Community

Acreage

Total No. Properties

Number of Owners

Vacant &/or Nuisance via Housing Survey

Housing Code Violations + Citations since 8/1/2017


Housing Code Total  Open Violations issued

East Arlington


83

1064

823

4

9 + 22

56

Callaway Garrison


121

820

523

14

7 +9

61

Dolfield


108

993

582

5

8 + 13

84

Dorchester


121

840

516

41

15 + 45

129

Grove Park


211

717

479

19

12 + 7

30

West Arlington


174

896

574

29

4 + 19

105

Ashburton


225

1471

936

9

9 + 15

55

Howard Park


676

3182

1995

12

28 +78

 

257

 

MAPPING


We have also created maps that show the location of problem properties with color coded icons. Also views of our communities can show the location of properties currently For Sale, churches, businesses, and even a snapshot of crimes from police data for a specified time frame.


Taking a proactive approach to improving our communities is everyone’s responsibility. Our city and state employees can do their jobs but they don’t live here. As a part of this program, we will be sending letters to owners. We will make them aware that in the near future, if improvements aren’t made, they will be receiving a violation or citation that can result in becoming a lien against the property if not resolved. We also offer possible resources to those that can’t afford to do repairs and an option to donate or sell the property to the community and receive a tax deduction for the property’s assessed value.


 Summary


As neighbors, if we have a complaint about a property in your neighborhood, dial 311. The city’s 311 call center tracks housing complaints & other resident concerns & forwards them to the correct agency. Once a complaint is received, an inspector responds in 30 days – usually much more quickly.

 

As a result of this Housing Survey, we have partnered with the Department of Housing to provide our areas assigned inspectors with a complete data set of our findings, which are shown on the maps above.


 

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