Builders of Hope CDC is partnering with the Mill City Community Association, Child Poverty Action Lab, Zeal Analytics & Development Services, the Office of Integrated Public Safety Solutions, South Side Quarter Development Corporation, Communities Foundation of Texas, and The Muse Family Foundation created the Mill City Public Safety Initiative (MCPSI) which will remediate abandoned lots and buildings through a block-by-block approach.
“There are approximately 1,530 total parcels in Mill City.
592 (39%) are vacant lots.”
Mill City is a historically underserved neighborhood made up of 5,000 households.
Since 2017, the Dallas Police Department has documented 439 theft offenses, 435 property destruction offenses, 281 burglaries, 182 cases of motor vehicle theft, and 114 robberies and more than 550 assaults.
Data based on a 2018 study of a similar initiative in Philadelphia found that neighborhoods where vacant lots were cleaned up experienced a 29% reduction in gun violence, a 22% decrease in burglaries, and 30% drop in nuisances like noise complaints and illegal dumping.
The overall goals from this revitalization play are:
Reduce the risk of violent crimes from occurring in the community
Reduce the amount of crime that occurs in the community over the course of the initiative
Increase resident satisfaction with the quality and condition of their neighborhood.
Provide an efficient alternative to current 311/Code Compliance model for addressing blight
The Project Team will establish a more targeted and efficient process for rapidly remediating vacant lots and abandoned structures in the Mill City neighborhood. First, it will use neighborhood focus groups and Risk-Terrain Modeling to assess where a collection of spatial features and environmental factors contribute to the risk of gun violence. Next, by replacing the standard "first in, first out" remediation approach with a block-by-block strategy, it should reduce the wait time for an intervention. This means the team will prioritize remediating every overgrown vacant lot and abandoned building in one block at once instead of conducting one-off remediations in a neighborhood.
The project will be assess through three methods: (1) Process Evaluation: The process evaluation will assess whether the pilot is implemented as intended and identify distinct project elements that facilitate or hinder successful implementation. This evaluation will reveal specific strategies to replicate when expanding the pilot to a full-fledged program. (2) Field Observation and Condition Analysis: While the physical evidence of this project will be clear within the community, a field observation protocol will be developed to document and assess conditions before, during, and after the remediation and maintenance efforts have been completed across the community. (3) Method Assessment: Quasi-experiments demonstrate causality between intervention efforts and related effects when randomization is not feasible. The initiative will employ quasi-experimental methodology to evaluate the impact of block-by-block remediation on outcome metrics, such as violent gun crime, over time.