Philadelphia Vacant Land & Building Indicator Data Check: Update 2/2/17

This post updates my 1/25/17 post about the City’s Vacant Land & Bldg Indicator data set. This important resource is now available on-line here.

This post reports on interactions with the City on the vacancy status of   437 Collom Street and discusses follow-up field survey and review of L&I’s property history for the site.

City staff responded quickly to my inquiry on the vacancy status of 437 Collom Street as follows:

“Thank you for checking this address. There is only one indicator that had this address, and it is not highly weighted. So the resulting score fell below or 50% confidence value for publishing in the VPI as potentially vacant.”

The City’s response shows just how difficult it is to diagnose vacancy status from data files. Utility data and other City property data resources can provide important information but can not provide 100% accuracy.

Based on the City’s response I took another look at 437 Collom Street to better understand the property situation. L&I had issued an Unsafe Structure Notice notice on 1/25/17.

Here are some photos from 1/27/17:

I then reviewed L&I Property History (link) to see what previous L&I activity at the property.  Here is a screen shot of L&I’s history:


Review of these history records indicate that the City had issued a violation in July, 2011 and a vacant property license in 2012 which expired in 2015.  CLIP issued a property violation in Dec., 2016.


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