Code violations and other blight indicators : a study of Colony Park/Lakeside (Austin, Texas)

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2013-08

Authors

Durden, Teri Deshun

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Abstract

Blight and the elimination thereof have profoundly impacted urban areas. In Colony Park/Lakeside (Austin, Texas), community leaders and members of the local neighborhood association have come together to mitigate and reverse social, economic, and physical symptoms of blight in their neighborhood. Following the approval of a HUD Community Challenge Planning Grant application that was submitted by the Austin Neighborhood Housing and Community Development (NHCD) department, these individuals utilized the media attention surrounding the grant to campaign for code enforcement, landlord-tenant accountability, policing, and the clean-up of illegal dumping in the area. Moreover, after much ado between residents and City workers, the neighborhood association devised a community-focused partnership with the City to ensure that current residents would reap the benefits of the planning process and help define the collective will and interests of the community. Utilizing publicly available data and first-hand knowledge from one City code compliance investigator and local residents, this report attempts to provide a blight indicator analysis of the Colony Park/Lakeside planning area as defined by NHCD. In other words, this report uses quantitative data to create descriptive maps of current neighborhood conditions with particular attention to code violations and community discussions surrounding them. The results of this work are intended to shed light on where resources should be directed to further research in the area and to resolve issues that threaten the health, safety, and viability of the neighborhood today.

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