Creating decision-support tools that move policy and investment.

jackson, mi: impact measurement of blight demolition programs

The City of Jackson (Jackson) demolishes distressed houses in an effort to make Jackson a better place to live. In this report distressed housing is defined as city-owned and condemned-as-dangerous.  It is generally accepted that distressed housing creates many problems, from increased crime to depressed property values.  But, until now, Jackson has not quantified the effectiveness of its distressed property demolition program.  This report by Dynamo Metrics measures the impact of the publicly funded demolitions on the value of Jackson’s housing.

Click here to visit the website dedicated to the custom online dashboard, mapping tool and policy report delivered to the City of Jackson, MI. 

City leaders can now better understand the financial impact of their target(ed) investments. Data-driven decision making is imperative, and firms like Dynamo Metrics affords us the ability to predict outcomes of program initiatives.
— Patrick Burtch, City Manager in Jackson, Michigan


The City of Gary realizes that as an industrial legacy city it must make the most of its data to manage problems and plan ahead for redevelopment. Under the joint sponsorship and collaboration of two special-purpose taxing authorities, the Gary Redevelopment Commission and the Gary Sanitary District – Dynamo developed and maintains a property-level integrated data system for Gary. Working closely with the Center for Community Progress and other advisors, Dynamo has become part of the team that is delivering planning tools for decision support, such as the Green Infrastructure Tool shown above. The Economic Vitality Tool will be delivered for use in concert with the Green Infrastructure Tool in the immediate future.

Click here to visit the website dedicated to the custom online dashboard and mapping tool for the Green Infrastructure Tool delivered to the City of Gary, IN. 

A few years ago, I started looking for help for Gary as we worked toward data-driven government and planning. Despite numerous overtures from software and tech companies, we wanted a genuine partner who could build an integrated data system for Gary. I didn’t want consultants to tell me what should be done, or an expensive “one size fits all” program owned by an outside company. We were specifically looking for a company that could build Gary an integrated, intergovernmental data system, under challenging circumstances and help us grow our capacity to utilize it….No one but Dynamo Metrics could possibly deliver for Gary….They became part of our team, spending a lot of time in Gary, and working with staff at all levels. They have shown respect to all, and understand the challenges facing local government officials.
— Joseph Van Dyk, Executive Director of the Gary Redevelopment Commission and Director of Planning

GREATER CLEVELAND, OH: impact measurement of home rehab programs

In 2013, U.S. Treasury authorized select states to use their Hardest Hit Fund allocations to eliminate blight through demolition. U.S. Treasury authorized demolition of blight because research established that it protects home values and preserves homeownership. Cleveland Neighborhood Progress hired Dynamo to investigate whether blight elimination through housing rehabilitation (rehab) also protects home values and preserves homeownership. Does rehabbing vacant and foreclosed properties increase surrounding property values? Is rehabbing associated with a lowering of mortgage foreclosure rates? In short: yes, but rehab impacts vary by submarket, with weaker submarkets realizing less impact per rehab, and stronger submarkets more. The rehabs nevertheless show positive impacts in every submarket studied. We also found that the occurrence of programmatic rehabs was strongly associated with faster declines in mortgage foreclosure rates over time. 

Click here to visit the website dedicated to the custom online dashboard, mapping tool and policy report delivered to Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Inc. in Cleveland, OH. 

Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, OH) has a national reputation as an innovator in land banking and blight removal. Dynamo Metrics has become an important part of our efforts. Our own data analytics capabilities are permanently upgraded because of our close interaction with Dynamo Metrics. Their leadership is well-known and well-regarded in our community. You will find that they deliver on their promises, and they will be able to work smoothly within your organizational setting.
— Gus Frangos, Chairman and General Counsel of the Cuyahoga Land Bank

Detroit, MI: impact measurement of blight Demolition programs

Since Mayor Mike Duggan took office, the City of Detroit has made large strides in removing blighted structures. Thousands of vacant homes have been removed at a more rapid pace than ever before in Detroit's history. In order to better understand the positive economic impact of these demolitions, the Skillman Foundation and Rock Ventures commissioned an impact study to evaluate the economic effect of the recent demolitions.

The study found that each demolition in the Detroit Hardest Hit Fund target areas increased surrounding occupied home values by an estimated 4.2%. Cumulatively, the home equity impact of all demolition activity was calculated at $209,000,000.

Dynamo Metrics has been a key player in both quantifying the impact of investment in Detroit’s blight removal and in attracting further investment from across the nation... Their methods are cutting-edge, and their products enjoy the respect of governments at every level... The results have been extraordinary: based on the analytics produced by Dynamo Metrics in Michigan and Ohio, we were able to persuade the federal government to reprogram hundreds of millions of dollars for blight removal (which also resulted in $2 billion of new foreclosure prevention money becoming available to selected states).
— Dan Gilbert, Chairman and Founder of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans