Tools & Resources

Addressing Vacancy & Abandonment Survey Results (July)

Text It Forward Text It Forward is a new engagement campaign launched by One Region Forward that seeks to further broaden community engagement. The campaign utilizes a SMS-based survey tool that allows citizens to text their responses to questions that will inform One Region Forward’s planning.

 

text_vacancy & abandonment

July 2014 – Addressing Vacancy & Abandonment
As new development has sprawled over the last several decades and our regional population has declined, homes and businesses in once vibrant neighborhoods have been abandoned and left vacant, eroding our tax base and effecting the delivery of basic public services. Citizens answered questions on how they thought we should address the issues of vacancy and abandonment.


TIFJuly_rightdirectionQuestion #1: Do you think Buffalo Niagara is moving in the right direction?

A. Yes
B. No
C. Other

The majority of citizens responded that Buffalo Niagara is moving in the right direction.

 

 


TIFJuly_abandonmentQuestion #2: Is vacancy or abandonment an issue in your neighborhood? 

A. Yes
B. No

A majority of citizens (59%) responded that vacancy was not an issue in their neighborhood. Even still, the data for our region places the number of vacant housing units at over 45,000, or 8.7% of all housing units in Buffalo Niagara. Once thought of only as a city problem, issues of vacancy and abandonment have begun to affect all areas of our region, reflected in the 41% of respondents who see vacancy and abandonment as an issue in their neighborhood.

 


TIFJuly_reinvestQuestion #3: On a scale from 1 to 5 how important do you think it is we reinvest in areas of vacancy and abandonment in the region? (1 – not important 5 – most important)

Citizens could respond with any number between 1 and 5.

While vacancy and abandonment might not be a neighborhood issue for a majority of respondents, they still found reinvesting in areas where these are an issue as very important. 79% of citizens responded with scores of 4 or higher.

 

 


TIFJuly_distressedQuestion #4: What would you do to address vacancy and abandonment in the most distressed neighborhoods of our region?

This is an open ended question that citizens were asked to respond to by naming a specific natural resource in our region that should be restored and/or protected and then explain why.

A word cloud was generated from the citizens’ responses. The size of the words are dependent on how often they appeared as a response. Words that are the largest appeared most often. Citizens responded with answers that primarily fell into two categories: dealing with the properties themselves (rehabbing, demolition, etc.) and dealing with the externalities present in the neighborhood (schools, crime, safety, etc.)


TIFJuly_industrialQuestion #5: What would you do to address vacant former industrial sites in our region?

This is an open ended question that citizens were asked to respond to by naming a specific natural resource in our region that should be restored and/or protected and then explain why.

A word cloud was generated from the citizens’ responses. The size of the words are dependent on how often they appeared as a response. Words that are the largest appeared most often. Similar to what we heard in our Community Congress Mapping Workshops, many citizens responded that they wanted to see these industrial sites cleaned up and positioned as new employment centers for the region.


To download the full data set from July’s survey please click here. Help us continue to get the word out about Text It Forward by visiting our Share It Forward Toolkit.