This project was created in collaboration with Reine Mynahan, Community Development Director for the City of Auburn to survey Auburn residents and gather information regarding the quality of their life. The City of Auburn will receive funds from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The purpose of the survey was to collect residents’ opinions on where the HUD funds should be allocated to best benefit the community. According to the City’s 2011-2014 Consolidated Plan, their main goals are to create affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, and economic development.
Our group along with two others, a total of nine students, administered the survey in three neighborhoods in Auburn: Downtown, Union Street, and New Auburn. Based on a recent city survey of blighted areas, these neighborhood boundaries were determined by areas that exhibit conditions of blight, which are in need of the most assistance. Our group was assigned to survey Downtown Auburn. Although the three groups collected data separately, we made sure to maintain the same methods while conducting the survey in order to be consistent.
The survey we administered gauged what Auburn residents would like to see improved in their community as well as what services are used and underused. Working with the other groups, we collected results that provide the perceptions of the social and physical conditions of these areas. Our results show that residents have a general discontented perception of the current state of their neighborhood. Many people were very opinionated on the subject of street safety. Changes they would like to see in the neighborhood include better housing, less traffic and more sidewalks. Other notable results are the fact that 75% of residents surveyed were renters, half of the people we surveyed have lived in Auburn for over 21 years and between all three neighborhoods, Downtown ranked as the poorest quality place to live (30%) among all three neighborhoods of study.
We reported our results to the Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC), who will use our results to make recommendations to the City Counsel as to what projects they believe should take priority. This report includes any differences we see between the opinions of residents, similarities and differences between the three neighborhoods, and any other trends that appear important. This was presented to the CAC on December 2, 2014 and concluded our project.
Diallo, Jeyna; Pardee, Ben; and Robins, Fiona, "Strong Neighborhoods: A Quality of Life Study in Auburn, Maine" (2014). Community Engaged Research Reports. 15.