Civic Insight (BlightStatus)

BLIGHTstatus2aCivicinsight, formerly BlightStatus is a public website that provides citizens up-to-date information on the status of underutilized properties in their community.  It is an opensource project by Code for America for the city of New Orleans. It gives quick and accurate information to citizens who want to know what has happened with an abandoned property in their area. The site connects directly to internal government data systems to make information about the status of vacant or underutilized spaces available to the public in real-time.


Positives:

The site has many features. It allows data visualizations to help residents understand complicated processes like code enforcement and building permits. It also allows automatic email alerts to people about what is happening with properties in their neighborhood. Citizens can search any property in their neighborhood or the city to know about its blight abatement status. They can also get a step-by-step detail description about judicial proceedings on properties. It is not only useful for citizens but also for city staff and local organizations.

Potential Negatives: It is not a free website and requires a basic minimum fee of $400 per month, going up to $3000 per month which is an incredibly high price for individuals to pay, unless they plan to invest in property or something.  Also price increases for cities with over 500k residents. Secondly, the project is still to roll out in other cities and states. Uploading such detailed and complex data may take years and a lot of manpower.

Final Verdict:

The site is a good tool for citizens and businessmen to stay informed about properties in their area yet it can include more features related to properties available for sale for residential and commercial purposes and response to general inquiries related to the same.

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