1,500 Homes in Lakewood Need ‘Significant Repair’

Last summer, city administrators and building and housing officials set out on foot examining 11,000 homes in the city. Now comes the hard work.

Correction: The city sent out 1,500 letters to homeowners. 

Hundreds of color-speckled dots on a satellite image of Lakewood tell the story of the current state — as well as the future — of the city’s aging housing stock. 

Red is bad, green is good.

Last summer, and building and housing officials set out on foot to examine 11,000 homes in the city. 

The result is the Residential Housing Survey, a collection of data that highlights areas of Lakewood that need some attention. 

“Now we’re talking about using that information to figure out what we’re going to do with this inventory,” said Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development. 

“We know that 84 percent of our houses are in good shape.”

He said that of the 11,000, approximately 1,500 need “significant repair.”

Ward 4, the only portion of the city not canvassed yet, will be addressed this spring.

The city sent out 1,500 letters informing the homeowners of the issues, however most of them minor: cracked driveways; peeling paint; broken rails on porches. 

That's when the phones started ringing at .

There are 40 red spots — properties that fall into the “significant disrepair” category — and more than 1,500 homes that fall into the “needs work” category (yellow).

The green dots denote homes that have no visible exterior code violations; the blue dots represent homes that “almost meet” the code.

The letters, already arriving in Lakewood mailboxes, aren’t correction notices, rather warnings of potential future issues, Siley added.

The city is partnering with LakewoodAlive, the city’s economic development organization, to address the concerns.

"If you need help, there are resources available," said Ian Andrews, the director of LakewoodAlive, adding that housing is a centerpiece to strong neighborhoods and a thriving city.

"As the housing stock goes, so goes Lakewood." 

Right now, the city will focus its efforts on one portion of the city: from Marlowe to Woodward avenues and Detroit to Madison avenues.

“We still have 1,500 houses that sill have significant repair needs," Siley said. "We’re doing data research on all the threes to get the back stories — delinquencies, foreclosures, water usage. We’re trying to figure out what’s going on financially with that property.

“We ‘ve done the initial inspections, and we are going to follow up with the building inspectors in April and start citing these properties.”

Brian February 15, 2012 at 04:06 PM
The Feb 3rd article in the PD mentions "Homes ranked with a 1 or a 2 are in need of some level of repair. In some cases, like the 41 4's in Lakewood, "demolition" wouldn't be out of the question, Siley added. And for homeowners contacted by the city for receiving a "3" ranking, the repairs needed could be as minor or as major as a fresh coat of paint on one side of the house or a replacement storm door needed for the front porch". This has to be inaccurate. A 3 may mean a minor repair and a 4 may mean demolition? Does anyone know what the black lines represent. Also, where can I get a high resolution of this map. I cant quite tell what color my property received.
Peter Grossetti February 15, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Brian (with no last name - in violation of Patch TOU) - I think the black lines you refer to are actually orange lines and they indicate Ward boundies. (try adjusting your monitor color settings!)
Brandon Scullion February 15, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Good Morning Greg, All I can say regarding you point is that Lakewood is not doing this to fine home owners or strong arm them into immediately fixing some of the issues - unless of course the house is listed in red and perhaps the yellows to a lesser degree. Currently it is a snap shot to get a feel for what condition the entire housing stock is in. As the condition of the house goes so does the property value of all the surrounding homes. I can speak from experience that I have been treated with nothing but respect and compassion from the day that I bought my house. 12/2007 I took ownership of a foreclosed property. Because it was a foreclosed property, a point of sale inspeciton had to be performed and many issues, as one might expect from a foreclosed property, had to be rectified. The building dept. gave me a list of items that I needed to address and at no time did I ever have someone banging down my door telling me I missed something, didn't do something well enough or pointing to a clock as if to say I am behind schedule. Our homes are our castle and I'm sure the things they point out are the very same things many of us want to improve anyway. Perhaps I am overly optimistic but I believe in what they are doing and trust the city.
Brian February 15, 2012 at 04:57 PM
There are thick black lines around some properties and no mention of these lines in the map legend. I know what the ward boundaries are. I'm in violation? Yikes.
Brandon Scullion February 24, 2012 at 02:41 PM
I FOUND IT!!! http://www.onelakewood.com/pdf/2012_HousingSurveyMap_0124.pdf


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