Problem Properties assessed in Boston

Posted: 10/06/12 at 7:15 pm EDT

DORCHESTER, Mass. (WHDH) -- The effectiveness of Mayor Menino’s problem properties task force was examined one year after it was started in an effort to clean up dilapidated homes.

Nine Inwood Street in Dorchester used to be an eyesore. But problem properties are more than that. Studies have shown they lower public trust and increase crime.

“It’s a lot more than just arresting our way out of the problem. Arrests have to happen when criminal activity occurs in a neighborhood. But things like this quality of life and problem properties really make a difference in a neighborhood that is rising or a neighborhood that is falling,” said Ed Davis, police commissioner.

Today is report card day. One hundred forty-four homes have been investigated and 18 were designated as problem properties. Forty-six are still under investigation. Mayor Menino said it's working.

“Overall, there's been a 55 percent drop in police activities to our problem properties, reducing crime and blight and raising the quality of life in Boston,” said Menino.

This home in Dorchester is a perfect example of the changes that can be made, especially with a cooperating landlord.

"If you're a homeowner and you want help to fix up your property, now the problem properties is taken care of and you’re looking at your own property, we're there to help,” said neighborhood development director, Sheila Dillon.

As part of this initiative, police are arresting problem tenants, security cameras are being installed, and city leaders are removing abandoned cars.

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