Corrrection: 858 homes were reported improved. The previous version of this story had the wrong number of houses.
After the city finished up the work of its comprehensive Residential Housing Survey earlier this year, the residents who received notices in their mailboxes began the work of fixing up their homes.
Of the that “needed work,” almost half of them were improved over the summer.
Most of the issues were minor: peeling paint, cracked driveways, broken fences.
The updated housing survey map (to the right) shows hundreds of color-speckled dots on a satellite image of Lakewood telling the story of the current state of the city’s aging housing stock.
Red is bad, green is good.
There’s now more green and blue on the map.
That was the idea, said Dru Siley, the city’s director of building and housing.
“Our goals was to cut it in half and we were just shy of that goal,” he said. “But we’ve also learned a lot in that process and we’re getting ready to go back out again in the spring of 2013.”
In May, Lakewood Patch compiled a complete database for residents to look up the properties in Lakewood that need some work.
Since then, 858 homes went from being a “yellow” (needs work) to being a “blue” (almost meets code) or a “green” (meets).
“A third of the residents did the work voluntarily, without any citation,” Siley said. “They just needed a nudge. Another third needed the citation notices. And the rest we will need to work with — and we will probably need to involve the prosecutor and the judge.”
During the summer of 2011, city administrators and building and housing officials set out on foot to examine 11,000 homes in the city. The follow-up work was done during the past few months.
“We did this in one season using four building inspectors using a focused and disciplined strategy,” Siley said, adding that while inspectors were canvassing the neighborhoods, they found 44 homes that were added to the “needs work” category.
During the past year, the city has cracked down on nuisance properties; hosted a forum on housing; and offers an incentive program, through LakewoodAlive, for residents to paint their homes.
Stay tuned as Lakewood Patch compiles a new searchable database.