9 Investigates: Crime Free Multi-housing Program proves successful

ORLANDO, Fla. — New numbers show a program designed to reduce crime in Orlando apartment communities is working.

Orlando's Crime Free Multi-Housing Program started in 2009.

Numbers from the Orlando Police Department show crime has reduced in certain neighborhoods because of the program and residents said they feel safer.

The program allows Orlando apartment managers to evict problem tenants.

Every night, Officer Derwin Bradley gets a list of renters who’ve been arrested.

If they live in a designated crime-free community, they’re kicked out.

“Once a property goes crime-free, you can hear the calls for service go down,” Bradley said.

Channel 9’s Vanessa Welsh searched arrest records and discovered crime drastically dropped at most of Orlando's crime-free complexes.

In some of the complexes, crime dropped by 50 percent.

“It makes me feel safe and secure,” said renter Ana Mahmoud.

The single mother said one of her neighbors was caught smoking marijuana and was forced out for violating the lease addendum.

“They were asked to leave within a week,” she said.

Nearly 1,400 renters have been kicked out since the start of the program.

A resident does not have to be convicted to get evicted.

As soon as an apartment manager hears about an arrest they can fill out an eviction form and give the resident seven days to move out.

“You can try to fight it but you are going to lose. It’s been proven,” Lori Trainer with Concord Management said.

Trainer said people now look for the program’s logo when shopping for apartments.

Managers are required to make sure locks and windows are secured in all the units and they get access to a list showing every rented who has been kicked out recently.

They use the list to deny applicants with criminal backgrounds.

That’s another reason why Mahmoud feels safe where she lives.

“I feel that they [my children] can be outdoors,” she said.

Twenty-three apartment communities in Orlando are certified crime-free.

Kissimmee and Daytona Beach are also involved in the program.