As a part of the Shaw On Show House Tour, I stopped by each home and dropped off welcome packets, met owners and real estate agents. While the neighborhood could not be more revered right now, it became apparent a few homes were “sitting” on the market due to potential nuisance properties directly next door. This has always been a small but ongoing issue in Shaw which needs some attention and help. There are negative consequences when some rental property owners, who often live in other areas and sometimes out of town, rent properties without tenant screening, below market value, without proper property maintenance, and many times without viewing the property for years.
1. Property values could be negatively impacted
2. General appeal of a block could be negatively impacted
3. Crime rates could be negatively impacted
4. Even when other properties next door or on the block are sold, the problem still exists. It is simply pushed to the new property owner to handle (or not).
5. Sellers of homes next to nuisance properties often leave Shaw with a bad experience and go on to share that experience with others.
Michelle Boston David is an incredible asset to Shaw. She is the Neighborhood Stabilization Officer and she has the power to mandate owners of these nuisance properties follow a tenant screening program administered by the City. She also follows up on building code violations, occupancy, etc. She is determined, active and experienced. Most recently, she helped condemn 4123 Castleman, which was sold and is now a renovated and leased building and 4041 Castleman, which was also sold and is now a renovated and leased building.
She goes into service on a particular building after 3 calls are made on a specific property during a 6 month period. This is the MOST important fact to know about how you can turn these properties into active and productive buildings.
Calling the police each and every time you observe bad behavior
is critical. The Public Safety Nuisance Review Committee prioritizes
its workload based on the number of calls and types of reported behavior.
To Make a Nuisance Call:
1. Dial 911 (emergency) or 231-1212 (non-emergency).
2. Say “THIS IS A NUISANCE CALL” and give the correct address of the property you are reporting, not your own address.
3. Be prepared to give specifics about WHO, WHAT, WHEN AND WHERE to the police evaluator.
4. Please leave a call-back number so the police can contact you if they problems need more information. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REQUEST THAT THE POLICE NOT COME TO YOUR DOOR.
5. Let the Alderman Stephen Conway (ConwayS@stlouiscity.com), Neighborhood Stabilization Officer (Michelle Boston David 657-1358, BostonM@stlouiscity.com) and SNHC (Sean Spencer, Seanspencersnhc@att.net or 314 773 7429 know the address so it can be documented as a nuisance.
I will continue to work to educate landlords on the market value of rental properties in Shaw in addition to connecting responsible developers and investors with nuisance property owners for possible sale.
With over 3200 housing units in Shaw and a population of almost 9,000, we have a few battles still ahead but as Shaw residents know, this is a special neighborhood which has grown in a positive direction in almost every measurable category over the last few decades. Please help us finish the Shaw Neighborhood by taking ownership of any issues on your block. There is a system in place and with your help, any nuisance property can be turned around.