DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Want to report a blighted home in Detroit? All you have to do is check an app on your smart phone.

Motor City Mapping is a part of the group which spent the winter months completing a survey off all 380,000 parcels of land in the city – they are asking community groups to keep the information on blighted properties updated by “blexting” – short for blight and texting.

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The app can be downloaded free for Android devices and is used to relay information and photos to a massive database on all land in the 139-square-mile city.

Lauren Hood is the community engagement manager for Loveland Technologies, which is the developer of the app.

“I think the technology part was a lot easier than engaging the communities will be,” Hood told WWJ City Beat reporter Vickie Thomas. “Because what I’m imagining – I’m a lifelong Detroiter – I know that most of the people we will be trying to reach will probably be older – probably not too tech savvy and might not own their own devices to put the app on.”

Community groups are eligible for grants up to $15,000 for training to update parcels using the new blexting app.

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Monique Tate, community organizer for Data Driven Detroit,  says the new application will mean that the city can get the latest condition for parcels in the city of Detroit.

In using the app, people answer a series of questions on the condition of the building they are “blexting” about, including whether the structure has any fire damage, is being lived in or is the site of illegal dumping. They also are asked to note the conditions of vacant lots for the mapping survey.

“It will mean a lot, it’s the first time that Detroit can use a centralized data base for information about all the parcels of property -the over 380,000 in the city of Detroit. We can have true condition reporting.”


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