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14 Percent of Lakewood Homes ‘Need Work’

The city wraps up its comprehensive housing study — with Ward 4 now included — 85 percent of the homes reported in “good shape.”

More than 1,700 homes in Lakewood need some help getting up to housing code.

That’s according to the city’s finished comprehensive housing survey.

the initial results of the study — with Ward 4 data not yet available — following months of neighborhood canvassing. 

Ward 4 added 246 homes that fell into the “needs work” category. Another 12 homes in the ward are in “significant repair.” 

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. 

Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development, said the city will begin to focus its efforts on one portion of the city: from Marlowe to Woodward avenues and Detroit to Madison avenues.

“Overall, our quality of housing is very good — 85 percent,” he recently told Lakewood Patch. “That still means 15 percent of that housing is challenged. We want to make sure that all housing, at the very least, is decent, safe and sanitary." 

The city sent out letters to all the homes noted as needing some work.

However most of issues are minor: cracked driveways; peeling paint; broken rails on porches. 

There are more than 50 red spots — properties that fall into the “significant disrepair” category — and more than 1,700 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 sent out to homeowners 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.

Siley told Lakewood Patch in February that city officials will begin to follow up on the properties this month.

K.Jones April 01, 2012 at 11:45 AM
The letters sent out were not warnings, they were correction notices that people had 90 days from issued date to correct. I saw the one the city sent to my nieghbor for his front porch.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward April 01, 2012 at 05:45 PM
They COULD be warnings as we have received something similar in the mail in previous years.
Brandon Scullion April 02, 2012 at 12:46 PM
I can't wait to get mine. Honest. I don't know if I will though since I'm only a blue. Anybody know for sure?
Mark justmark April 02, 2012 at 01:49 PM
It is important for everyone, particularly City officials, to realize this survey represents a snapshot in time. This sort of information is only useful with repeat surveys and evaluated over time. By way of example, I offer my story. According to the map in this article, my home needs work. The work it needs is a paint job. The reason it needs a paint job is because I had my home insulated. Since it was insulated from the outside, there I needed to patch a lot of holes and then repaint. Since last year saw a record breaking amount of rainfall, I was never able to coordinated time for painting. I am well aware that my home needs work and I am working on it. The point is, ultimately, my home has a "need work" rating as a direct result of my efforts to improve my home. The rating doesn't adequately describe the quality of my home and, as such, is counterproductive information.
Brandon Scullion April 02, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Mark, did you receive your letter yet?
Mark justmark April 02, 2012 at 02:01 PM
@ Brandon - Yes. I got a form letter in early January. It states that my home may need a whole bunch of work but it may not all specifically apply to my home. It also says that the City forces will be doing a more detailed follow-up assessment this year.
Brandon Scullion April 02, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Mark, you don't have to answer this question but I was curious if you were a blue or a yellow? Also, what ward are you in? I'm even more curious now as to why I have not received a letter.
Mark justmark April 02, 2012 at 02:16 PM
My home is in Ward 2 an coded Yellow. I suspect that if you didn't get one, you're not going to. Regardless, I wouldn't be too concerned with the letter. Because it is a catch-all form letter, it isn't very informative to the home owner. Nor, does it appear to require a response. You don't need a letter from the City to know whether you have time, money, and a need to maintain your home.
Brandon Scullion April 02, 2012 at 03:02 PM
I think my desire to receive a letter is to know what they saw. I am perhaps an atypical homeowner who spends an inordinate amount of time and money on my house. It is my biggest hobby currently and I take an immense amount of pride in it. So much so that I have an entire blog about it on the Patch. Perhaps you have read it. That being said, I too did the insulation about two summers ago and have simply touched up the white holes with some paint. However, the paint job which was done back in 2008 or 2009 is in terrible shape already and a few sections are peeling quite badly as well as a few of pieces of cedar shake have fallen off and need to be put back on. These are my two major issues as well as a problematic gutter. I figure if I were to get a letter this is all they could point out. Either way though, they are getting done this summer because I'm sick of looking at it. Good luck with your projects.
Heather April 03, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Same here. We are also blue and would like to know what they're thinking we'll need to be thinking about fixing. Wonder if there's any way for us to find out?
Shawn Juris April 03, 2012 at 05:36 PM
To Heather and Brandon, The homes rated blue will not likely receive a visit to cite whatever may have caused it to fall one tier. Homes need continuous work and this is a triage effort. I'm happy to help where I can. It sounds like Brandon already knows what is needed. Heather, if I'm your council person I'd be happy to take a glance and give my unofficial review. We trained with the building dept and have a good idea of what was looked at. I'd suspect that the other members of council, block clubs and others would be happy to assist with those willing to make the effort to move properties from blue to green. This in fact is the topic of my streets block club meeting this month.
Gwenn Seaman August 18, 2012 at 11:03 PM
How do you know what dot you are? Where do you get this info?

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