Beacon organizes resident teams and provides them with the maps and training to collect property condition data. Along with tracking the overall recovering, this data has been used to create redevelopment strategies, advocate for the needs of the community, encourage residents and businesses to return, track blighted properties, and coordinate volunteer and nonprofit resources.
This data is entered into a Geographic Information System (GIS) database. Using GIS our staff integrates this data with other public data layers to produce an interactive map. The map visually displays data indicating the rebuilding status of every home in the surveyed area. With the data residents are able to identify properties that have not been rebuilt and can begin to develop neighborhood-based solutions to these problems.
One of the main roadblocks for redeveloping neighborhoods, is abandoned/blighted properties. From the data, residents identify abandoned properties and create strategies to abate blight. If a homeowner has experienced rebuilding roadblocks, teams try to connect them to nonprofits that can help them rebuild. If a property owner has no intent to rebuild, teams work with city agencies to return the property to code compliance.
The property condition data has been valued by both nonprofits and government agencies. Specifically, we have tracked the status of the New Orleans Road Home program in which people were given money to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. On some case, these recipients experienced a hard ship and we were able to refer them to nonprofit rebuild agencies who were able to put them back in their homes.