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What's the 311?

Chris Landers

By Chris Landers | Posted 5/27/2009

A lot of people call 311 to complain to the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) about maintenance issues involving HCD-owned properties. Their houses are falling down, there's no water, sewage is backing up, and they've got rats. Well, hopefully not all at once, but you get the idea. Here's just a sampling of calls to 311 about one HCD-owned property in Upton.

May 10, 2008: "This house roof is caving in and every time it rains it damages the house [next door]. Her bricks in the basement are crumbling and getting soft as a result from this. She reported this home on several occasions but nothing has been done."

May 21, 2008: "Property belongs to MCC/HCD. Exterior/interior basement floods (no roof) . . . during rain. Then causing flooding and structure damage to adjoining home."

June 2, 2008: "The house is a shell, no roof, no flooring . . . city-owned property. . . . Says every time it rains the water comes through that vacant property and settles at the bottom and caused damage to her house--softens the bricks in her home. Also causing mold and odor. . . . She has complained about this property several times."

June 16, 2008: "The house has no roof windows. Every time it rains, she hears something falling. She afraid that the house is going to fall down to the ground. Damaged her walls."

July 12, 2008: "No roof and causing damage."

Oct. 25, 2008: "Party says that fence in rear is falling down in rear."

March 6, 2009: "Fence in the rear is damaged and is leaning to neighbor's property."

March 21, 2009: "Citizen states the fence is falling down and falling on her property--house has been vacant for a long period of time--citizen states the yard needs to be cleaned."

Disclaimer: What's the 311 is based on data from the Mayor's Office of Information Technology (currently from Sept. 20, 2005, until April 30, 2009). It has been folded, spindled, and mutilated along the way, and no attempt has been made to verify the accuracy of the calls.

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