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The Vacant House Project

Folwell Neighborhood Association (FNA) is a 501(c)3 corporation and has been the only recognized citizen participation organization in the Folwell Neighborhood since 1994. In November 2010, FNA staff became concerned about the growing number of vacant properties in Folwell neighborhood. A windshield survey was done that identified 212 vacant single-family homes in Folwell, which is more than 10% of the currently viable single family properties in the neighborhood. As the number of vacant houses proliferated, so did property crimes in the 4th Precinct, primarily copper theft. In January 2011, FNA partnered with the MPD SAFE civilians at the 4th Precinct to survey their block-leader contacts requesting identification of vacant properties in all of the 4th Precinct neighborhoods. The result of that project was many hundreds of properties identified in real time, many not known of prior to the request. Jacob Wascalus, an Urban and Regional Planning graduate student at the Humphrey School, identified the neighborhoods most at risk to become unstable because of existing vacant residential housing, and defined the condition of the current and potential housing market in those neighborhoods. The results are being used as the basis for discussion to encourage collaborative planning and implementation of strategies to support investment in homeownership and well-managed rental housing in at-risk neighborhoods with municipal agencies and others, as appropriate.

Project Award Date: 
Community organization or agency: 
Folwell Neighborhood Association
CURA Contact: 

CURA Research Areas: