USPS: Detroit’s Vacancy Rate at 22.5%

There were 2,363 fewer vacant Detroit residential properties between June 2015 and June 2016, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Between March 2016 and June 2016 the number of residential vacancies decreased by 1,282. Overall in the month of June of 2016 there were 80,643 vacant residential addresses, which is equivalent to a 22.5 percent residential vacancy rate, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Also, for June 2016 the total number of residential addresses decreased by 4,630 from June 2015 and by 2,030 from March 2016.

Although there was a decrease in the number of vacant addresses, the percentage of vacant addresses in Detroit has remained in the 22.5-22.9 percent range since June of 2015. The data presented below shows that residential vacancy rates have experienced an overall increase since September 2012, when the U.S. Postal Service reported Detroit’s residential vacancy rate was 21.9 percent. However, there has been a decrease since March of 2015 when there was a peak residential vacancy rate of 23.5 percent. While the residential vacancy rate in Detroit has increased since September 2012 the number of residential addresses has experienced an overall decline of 6,441. The decrease occurred while the total of number of vacant residential addresses increased by 1,026 in the same time period (going from 79,612 in September 2012 to 80,643 in June 2016) . However, similar to the vacancy rate, the total number of vacant Detroit residential addresses peaked in March of 2015 and has since started to decline.

In addition to these changes, in June of 2016 there was a decline in the number of “no stat” addresses; that number decreased by 1,992 in the last year. Mail carriers denote properties as being either “vacant” or “no-stat.” Carriers on urban routes mark a property as vacant once no resident has collected mail for 90 days. Addresses are classified as “no-stat” for a variety of reasons. Addresses in rural areas that appear to be vacant for 90 days are labeled no-stat, as are addresses for properties that are still under construction. Urban addresses are labeled as no-stat when the carrier decides it is unlikely to be occupied again any time soon — meaning that both areas where property is changing to other uses and areas of severe decline may have no-stat addresses.

The maps below demonstrate both the overall Detroit address vacancy rates (including residential and business vacancy rates) by Census Tract for June 2016 and the change in vacancy rates between June 2016 and June 2015. In total, there were about 70 Census Tracts in Detroit with total vacancy rates above 33 percent. The Census Tract with the largest increase in its vacancy rate between June 2015 and June 2016 was located in Southwest Detroit and had a total vacancy rate increase of 11.1 percent.

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Psychiatric Hospital Bed Access Non-Existent in Livingston, St. Clair counties

The number of adult psychiatric beds available in the 1950s (3.4 per 1,000 people) has greatly decreased over the last 60 years in part due to the increased availability of drugs, the poor conditions of early psychiatric hospitals and the shift toward deinstitutionalization, according to Henry Ford Macomb Hospital Medical Director of Quality and Clinical Integration Vikram Eddy. In Southeastern Michigan such a lack of access to licensed adult psychiatric beds exists. According to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, access to psychiatric hospital beds in Southeastern Michigan is non-existent in some counties (Livingston and St. Clair counties) and low in others.

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Of the seven counties in Southeastern Michigan, Oakland County had the highest adult psychiatric hospital bed access per 1,000 residents at 0.34. In comparison, as discussed in our last post, hospital bed access in Oakland County was 3.4 per 1,000 residents. In 2016, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, there were 453 licensed psychiatric beds at nine different hospitals in Oakland County; Havenwyck Hospital in Auburn Hills had the most at 153.

In Wayne County there was a total of 317 licensed adult psychiatric hospital beds at eight different hospitals; the psychiatric hospital bed access per 1,000 residents was 0.17. BCA Stonecrest Center in Detroit had the highest number of psychiatric beds in the county at 88.

Macomb and Washtenaw counties also had access near 0.2 adult psychiatric beds per 1,000 residents in 2016. The adult psychiatric hospital bed access in Macomb and Washtenaw counties was 0.23 per 1,000 residents. In total, there were 198 licensed adult psychiatric beds in Macomb County and 81 in Washtenaw County. In our last post Washtenaw County was highlighted for the having the highest number of licensed hospital beds per 1,000 residents at a rate of 4.6. The number of licensed hospitals beds at the University of Michigan Health Systems largely contributed to that rate; there are 1,000 licensed hospital beds at the University of Michigan and 27 licensed adult psychiatric hospital beds.

All of the adult licensed psychiatric beds discussed in this post are housed in private hospitals. Statewide, there are five public health hospitals that cater to those with mental illness; only one of these hospitals is in Southeastern Michigan (Walter B. Reuther). This institution was not included in this post because of the state of Michigan has different licensing requirements and therefore does not list it in its psychiatric hospital bed access document, which is produced by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Arguments have been made nationally and locally that states such as Michigan should move away from their decentralized and deinstitutionalized mental health approach and increase the number of state run mental health facilities. Currently, community based mental health services are administered through 46 community mental health agencies, all of which have faced state aid cuts and remain independent of one another. In our work in Detroit’s neighborhoods we regularly hear of men and women in dire need of these services. Because of this we see a need for increases in community-based services and hospital-based services, if we are to meet the needs of the state’s citizens.