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Assessing the Impact of Home Foreclosures in Charlotte Neighborhoods

NCJ Number
Geography & Public Safety Volume: 1 Issue: 3 Dated: October 2008 Pages: 2-5
Date Published
September 2008
4 pages

This article describes the data sources used by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) in its study of the effects of housing foreclosures in Charlotte NC neighborhoods, as well as the subsequent response of the CMPD to the crisis.


The CMPD study included data from a custom Web-based mapping system used by the CMPD to monitor levels of disorder. This data, combined with a quality-of-life study sponsored by Charlotte’s Neighborhood Development Department and a local newspaper’s investigation into home sales and lending practices in the area, revealed the occurrence of neighborhood decay and a geographic distribution of crime related to housing foreclosures and empty houses. An exploratory data analysis found that between 2003 and 2007, just over 8,700 homes were foreclosed in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Clusters of foreclosures were located in neighborhoods built within the past 5 to 7 years, where police officers assigned to the affected areas had observed increases in blight, crime, and disorder. This finding is helping the CMPD to provide timely intervention with a focus on neighborhoods with high foreclosure rates. The CMPD is cooperating with the Charlotte Neighborhood Development Department and others in an effort to reverse the decay and disorder in these neighborhoods. A private property management company has stepped in to provide free management services to the homeowners’ association in one of the affected neighborhoods. For more than a year, the association had not been able to collect dues necessary to maintain common community areas. In another case, a landscaping contractor replaced landscaping in a troubled community. The city government has created a foreclosure resource Web site intended to help people with problem loans avoid foreclosure. 2 figures and 5 notes

Date Published: September 1, 2008