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Table 4 Follow-up survey results from workshops in 2018 in Birmingham, AL

From: A community-engaged approach to understanding environmental health concerns and solutions in urban and rural communities

Location Birmingham
Participant number (%) 23 (100)
I am concerned about abandoned houses and overgrown lots because:
 Crime: drugs, sexual assault, vandalism, break-ins 16 (69.6)
 Property values 4 (17.4)
 Bad environment for youth in the community 2 (8.7)
 Other (crime and property values) 1 (4.3)
Who do you think is most responsible for getting rid of abandoned houses and keeping up overgrown lots?
 Homeowners who move away or the family of deceased homeowners 10 (43.5)
 Local government: city, mayor, city councilors 9 (39.1)
 Residents in the neighborhood with the abandoned homes/overgrown lots 2 (8.7)
 State government 1 (4.3)
 Other (resident and local government): 1 (4.3)
What I can do personally to get rid of abandoned houses/ overgrown lots:
 Go to city council meetings 7 (30.4)
 Go to neighborhood meetings 6 (26.1)
 Call police when I see suspicious activity near an abandoned 5 (21.7)
 Adopt a lot nearby and maintain it 2 (8.7)
 Drive others to Neighborhood or city council meetings 1 (4.3)
 Other (all of them) 1 (4.3)
 Other(neighborhood and city council meeting) 1 (4.3)
What I would like to see community leaders do:
 Go to city council meetings and report back to community at 11 (47.8)
 Communicate progress, plans, timelines 5 (21.7)
 Organize community clean up days and recruit people to participate 3 (13.0)
 Create a liaison position to communicate between the elected 2 (8.7)
 Other (all of them) 2 (8.7)
What I would like to see state and local governing officials do (pick two):
 Devote more work crews tearing down abandoned houses, mowing overgrown lots, and towing abandoned cars 14 (60.9)
 Provide incentives to build new businesses or new homes 6 (26.1)
 Provide more police presence in the neighborhoods 5 (21.7)
 Put signs up on houses/properties and advertise in the newspaper so potential buyers can know they are available for purchase 3 (13.0)
 Reducing the waiting time to purchase houses/ properties 2 (8.7)
 Devote more resources towards contacting previous owners 1 (4.3)
 Remove the liens for back taxes faster to incentivize the Buy- 1 (4.3)
 Other 1 (4.3)
In place of torn down houses, I would like to see:
 New houses by Habitat for Humanity 14 (60.9)
 New housing for homeless 5 (21.7)
 Community gardens or parks 3 (13.0)
 New businesses 1 (4.3)
What one specific thing would you most like to see besides progress on the abandoned houses/overgrown lots issue? (Circle 1/ ONE)
 More police presence 8 (34.8)
 A Community program and playground for kids 5 (21.7)
 Other 3 (13.0)
 High traffic roads paved 2 (8.7)
 A program for mold removal from houses 2 (8.7)
 A Senior Center within the community 2 (8.7)
 Missing 1 (4.3)
Are abandoned houses and overgrown lots your most important 1/ ONE environmental health priority for your community?
 Yes 16 (69.6)
 No 7 (30.4)
If no to previous question, what is your most important 1/ ONE environmental health priority for your community?
 Abandoned houses/lots 16 (69.6)
 Crime and safety 2 (8.7)
 Air pollution 1 (4.3)
 Water quality 1 (4.3)
 Other (road conditions, trash, and waste, work together) 3 (13.0)
Trusted information source
 TV 8 (34.8)
 City Council meetings 6 (26.1)
 Neighborhood meetings 5 (21.7)
 Phone calls or conversations with community leaders 5 (21.7)
 Newspaper 4 (17.4)
 Radio 3 (13.0)
 Health Department 2 (8.7)
 Neighbors 2 (8.7)
 Other 1 (4.3)