Skip to content

In 2011, Mayor Menino established the Problem Properties Task Force, an inter-departmental initiative focused on identifying and responding to properties where there is persistent criminal activity and violations of the sanitation and building codes. This effort relies on the coordinated analysis of multiple City databases, including 911 calls, inspections violations, and citizen complaints, as well as information about ownership and land-use across the city. BARI has worked with the Task Force to help answer the following questions:

  • Defining problem properties: What pattern of events make a property problematic?
  • Identifying their consequences: How do problem properties affect the neighborhood?
  • Predicting future problems: Can the existing data help us to define properties and neighborhoods at risk for problems, like increased crime, fires, or health emergencies?


Dan O’Brien (Northeastern University)*, Cynthia Rudin (Duke University), Christopher Winship (Harvard University) *-Contact:

Example of Problem Property