1 The Strategic Community Investment (SCI ) Report Conditions Report A Report Presented to the City of Atlanta Department of Planning and Community Development Office of Housing by APD Solutions
2 1 INTRODUCTION This report is a supplemental overview of real property conditions in Atlanta. It is as an excerpt from the forthcoming Strategic Community Investment (SCI) Plan Report. To develop this report the APD Solutions team was commissioned by the City of Atlanta, Department of Planning and Community Development, Office of Housing officials to survey and analyze the City s housing conditions. In December 2011, a strategic method of approach to assessing the city s neighborhoods was established. The scope of work was determined to include two phases: Phase I - An existing conditions survey of all residential properties within the municipal limits of the City of Atlanta. Phase II - An assessment of each neighborhood to determine the investment feasibility. This report will also review the breakdown of the total housing units and demonstrate the challenging trends facing the City of Atlanta s housing stock. The consultant team developed several citywide condition maps that are inserted throughout the narrative, in addition there are neighborhood specific maps included in the appendices that illustrate the circumstances that were found. This information provides a comprehensive and objective assessment of both the positive and negative trends affecting the City s neighborhoods, allowing for an accurate view of this snapshot in time. The findings contained in this report provide critical information on the economic challenges and opportunities regarding the physical status of structures and lots in neighborhoods throughout the city. This body of work also provides a valuable reference point to document evidence of investment or disinvestment that is occurring in the city as we move into the future. Notwithstanding the various uses of this information, the primary intent of this document is to factually illustrate the condition of the city properties as a conclusion of the phase I activities. The City of Atlanta has 160,207 parcels. This project focused on assessing the 143,888 residential parcels only. Through the visual observations of a windshield survey the team was able to document the status of the City s housing stock between December 2011 and August During the process there were 125,022 structures and 9,664 vacant lots evaluated throughout the city s 258 neighborhoods. There were also 9,202 parcels that were attempted to be assessed but after various unsuccessful efforts were deemed to be not surveryable. Those parcels deemed as not surveyable were excluded from the population used in the statistical analysis to assess overall condition or neighborhood investment viability.
3 2 Findings Phase I: Existing Housing Conditions contains information concerning the economic challenges and opportunities related to the physical conditions of structures and lots throughout the city. Phase II: Neighborhood Wave Assessment Model contains information and attributes concerning neighborhood quality of life, existing housing conditions, amenities, investment, and demographics. Phase I : Existing Housing Conditions A Citywide Perspective The citywide existing housing conditions data provides a snapshot of Atlanta s residential properties. Table 4 shows the city of Atlanta s residential parcel composition and overall conditions across a variety of factors. TABLE 4 Source: APDS Solutions Field Evaluation
5 4 Structural Conditions As outlined in Table 4, the city of Atlanta is comprised of 160,207 parcels, of which 16,319 are nonresidential, and 143,888 are residential. Within those residential parcels, there are 125,022 residential structures, of which approximately 6.3% appear to be vacant or abandoned (APD Solutions, ). Housing types with fewer units dominate the residential stock in Atlanta, with 98.6% of residential structures having 1-2 units, 0.6% having 3-4 units, and 5+ unit structures making up just 981 parcels for the remaining 0.8%. The structures within the remaining 0.8% contain 52,243 total housing units averaging 53.3 units per structure. Of the 125,022 total structures in the city, 78% were judged to be in good condition, 18% possessed minor deterioration, and 4% were in poor or deteriorated condition. Lot Conditions ). Of these vacant lots, 13% were determined to be in good condition, 64% were determined to be in fair condition, and 14% were determined to be in poor condition.
6 5 Vacancy map
7 6 PROPERTY tenure When accounting for both structures and lots, the city of Atlanta has 17,638 total vacant parcels. Of the 12.3% parcels in the city that are vacant, large numbers are concentrated in a few neighborhoods, with many of these comprising a loose band that stretches from Northwest to Southeast Atlanta, and particularly focused towards the city s southern boundaries (APD Solutions, ). a neighborhood perspective Central to the SCI report is neighborhood-level data aggregation and analysis of the city s residential neighborhood table, Attachment B, includes information on the existing conditions of residential properties within each neighborhood. lot and structural conditions TABLE 5 Curb Appeal Source: APDS Solutions Field Evaluation attractiveness of lots and structures in fair and good condition when viewed from the sidewalk. In the above table, a more demanding threshold is applied, with neighborhoods ranked only by parcels majority of Atlanta s neighborhoods have very little or no blight and the city is dominated by structures in good or fair condition.
8 7 TABLE 6 Blight Source: APDS Solutions Field Evaluation For the purposes of the SCI report, structures that represent a general state of neglect or disrepair in a neighborhood, represented here by parcels that were Neighborhoods facing severe blight are particularly plentiful in the areas directly west and south of Downtown. deteriorated. These blighted properties tend to be heavily concentrated in certain neighborhoods. Illustrating this extreme geographic concentration of troubled properties, the ten neighborhoods in the table above, 4% of the city s total neighborhoods, contain over 40% of the total city s parcels that were observed to be in poor or deteriorated condition (APD Solutions, ). There are many neighborhoods with an elevated presence of visual blight throughout central and southern areas of the city. Neighborhoods facing severe blight are particularly plentiful in the areas directly west and south of Downtown.
9 8 property TENURE TABLE 7 Vacant Lot Count Source: APDS Solutions Field Evaluation The presence of vacant lots in a community is often indicative of commercial disinvestment and/or stalled real estate development. In the aftermath of the housing bubble and late-2000s recession, the presence of some vacant lots in an area is not entirely unusual, even in thriving communities. Highly concentrated areas of vacancy, however, can demonstrate a severe lack of commercial investment. They can also signal are also generally more susceptible to creeping disrepair and neglect over time, such as plant overgrowth or excess debris, lending to an increasing overall perception of visual blight or decay in an area. TABLE 8 Vacant Structures (Total: 9,664) Source: APDS Solutions Field Evaluation
10 9 As seen in Table 8, the neighborhoods with the very highest structural vacancy rates are located south of I-20 or west of I-75. Because vacant structures are highly susceptible to loitering and crime, managing the issue on a neighborhood level is important to goals of encouraging future investment and development, and to the welfare of a neighborhood s residents. Property code issues TABLE 9 property Code Issues Source: APDS Solutions Field Evaluation Field surveyors documented 3,788 residential properties with four or more code issues, equal to 3.0% of total residential parcels in the city (APD Solutions, ). These code issues include instances of weed overgrowth, dumping, dilapidated porches, water damage, at residential addresses and vehicles parked in yards. For the purposes of the SCI report, code issue information was not divided along different dimensions, such as structural, environmental, or aesthetic issues. Extreme dilapidation was observed in 1,352 parcels. Parcels in this category include structures demolish. These properties are often characterized by missing roofs, doors, windows and/or walls, and sometimes are already partially demolished.
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