Recipes for Civic Success - Fighting Foreclosure and Blight

In the city of Detroit, information about foreclosure processes and housing prices are not readily accessible to residents living in homes that are at risk of foreclosure. This information gap contributed to the proliferation of foreclosures – 24,000 homes were foreclosed and 8,069 families were displaced in 2014 – many of which may have been preventable had residents had access to the right data.

In Detroit, Loveland Technologies created a website in an effort to make the foreclosure process more transparent and actionable for residents, community leaders and local investors. Loveland Technologies’ displays delinquent property taxes and property type of homes at risk of foreclosure on a map. It also links to resources such as alternative housing options. The hope is that this tool will connect residents with tools to stay in their homes and government officials and developers with the information they need to transform blighted neighborhoods into lively economic areas.

Ingredients:

  • Foreclosure and housing data, collected in collaboration with local municipal and county officials, as well as outside vendors,
  • Local foreclosure and housing policy documentation
  • GIS mapping software, used in conjunction with online mapping tools developed by an outside vendor, such as Mapbox

Directions:

  1. Publish zoning, property tax history, and foreclosure sale price data.
  2. Using GIS mapping software and/or mapping tools to create a parcel map of foreclosed properties with associated data.
  3. Make the map available online to be a user-friendly tool to access information.
  4. Automate processes of pulling, cleansing, and connecting data so that the public-facing map reflects real-time, accurate data.

Outcomes:

  • Eliminate misunderstandings among residents, community leaders and local investors about the status of properties
  • Empower housing advocacy organizations, such as the Tricycle Collective, to work with families facing foreclosure.
  • Inform policies aimed at revamping property tax code, and property value and tax reassessments.

More Information:

For more information about Loveland Technologies visit https://makeloveland.com/.

Photo credit: Michael E.