Analysis Identifies Properties Eligible to Receive Assistance with Replacing Lead-Based Deteriorated Plumbing Systems

Author: Jake Cowan and Tom Kingsley
Date Posted: August 26, 2011

In Nashville, the Neighbors Reaching Out (NRO) Neighborhood Association and the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) worked together to decide how to allocate CDBG funds on a project to improve the living conditions of community residents. Residents were given the opportunity to propose projects. A common theme among their suggestions was concern about homes that are poorly insulated and/or have malfunctioning plumbing systems. From these meetings, a program was proposed that would provide subsidies to fix these problems. To be eligible for the subsidized home repairs, several criteria were established including that a home needs to have lead or galvanized pipes that need replacement and that the property’s homeowner must be 62 years of age or older.

The Neighborhoods Resource Center utilized data to help the residents of the NRO Neighborhood Association locate homes that are potentially eligible to receive the subsidy for modernized plumbing systems. The NRC used parcel data from the Metropolitan Nashville Planning Department and the Davidson County Assessor’s Office with the County Voter Registration Database to identify neighborhood homes that, based on their age, were likely contained lead-based/deteriorated plumbing systems. To determine whether properties were occupied by seniors, they used voting records which listed the birth date and address of the voter.

The 2005 report shows there were a total of 606 residential properties in the NRO Neighborhood, about half of which were built prior to WWII according to Assessor’s data. The NRC merged age data from voting records with these data to identify 87 properties that were built before 1943 and that were likely occupied by an individual over the age of 62 based on voting records. NRC produced a list for the neighborhood association to use in notifying households about the program.

This story was initially published in Stories: Using Information in Community Building and Local Policy in June 2007.

This story was written by staff at the Urban Institute, drawn from documents and interviews with John Stern of NRC. The Neighborhoods Resource Center was the Nashville partner in the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, a learning network coordinated by the Urban Institute, at the time of the story. All partners ensure communities have access to data and the skills to use information to advance equity and well-being across neighborhoods.

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