The City of Detroit, through the Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA), has been auctioning homes since May 2014 with the hopes of attracting new residents to the city's neighborhoods. The auctions come with strict rules. Detroit isn't in the market for investors looking for a quick buck and wants to prevent the homes from having the same fate as many of those auctioned through Wayne County's tax-foreclosure auctions, an auction system for which 78 percent of homes have fallen back into tax deliquency. Winning bidders in the DLBA auctions must agree to rehab the homes and establish occupancy, and Detroit follows up on the promise. Within 30 days of an auction closing, the buyer must produce a signed contract for rehabilitation/renovation or demonstrate the skill to carry out the rehab by his/herself. Within six months, the house must be rehabbed and occupied. Failure to meet these milestones results in the forfeiture of the property back to the Land Bank.
Detroit has now auctioned a few hundred of these properties, and every day auctions a couple more. This website maps the results of those auctions and adds visualization tools to help the user better contextualize closing prices throughout the city. Data is updated through the end of November. I completed this project as part of a GIS and Design Certificate Program at Pratt Institute.
DBLA's Past Auctions website serves as the basis for "Auctioning Detroit." I scraped the website using the Scrapy framework for Python. Code for my spider, as well as all other code and data for this site, can be found on GitHub. In addition, I supplemented the data from DBLA with lot and neighborhood information from a Detroit parcel's shapefile that can be downloaded here. Finally, the neighborhood hover outlines came from a shapefile of Detroit's master plan neighborhoods from the City's GIS Portal.
The website is built using the Bootstrap front-end framework, which allows for relatively painless mobile-first responsive design.
Finally, this web site was made possible with the help of my class instructors, Chris Whong and Larry Buchanan.