Like New: Davenport Looking to Sell Renovated Home Under Urban Homestead Program | Politics and elections

Built in 1901, the two-story home near Fejervary Park in Davenport had been subject to foreclosure and foreclosure and had been used primarily as a rental property for the past 25-30 years.

Over time, the property fell into disrepair and sat vacant for years.

A couple bought the house in 2017 for $23,000 hoping to flip the property, but soon realized they had taken more than they could afford.

But thanks to a city program, officials say they are ready to welcome a new family to a new home.

“It’s basically a new home,” said John Clark, owner of River Valley Homes and Clark Design & Development.

This includes a brand new kitchen and bathrooms, appliances, cabinets, siding, roofing, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, and windows and doors.

“Everything, essentially, is new construction except for the existing structure and foundation,” Clark said.

The City of Davenport on Tuesday announced the opening of the application period for its next home under the Urban Homestead program located at 637 Oak St.

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The program uses federal grants administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide homeownership opportunities to low- and middle-income families through the acquisition, rehabilitation, and sale of vacant and abandoned homes. .

Since the program began in the 1980s, Davenport has renovated approximately 140 homes sold to new buyers.

“We feel like it checks all the boxes,” said Bruce Berger, director of community and economic development for the town of Davenport, helping revitalize older neighborhoods by turning what was once an eyesore into a home. modern and renovated and creating new pathways to home ownership.

Over the years, the program has helped spur redevelopment in some of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, Berger said.

After seeing neglected homes in their neighborhood restored, Berger said neighbors will often hire the same contractor to repair their homes.

“We tend to see this over and over again,” he said.

Berger said the city contacted the couple “once it became clear they were looking for an exit strategy” and purchased the property for $22,500.

The city then hired River Valley Homes, which stripped the house down to its studs.

Clark estimated that the rehabilitation took about seven months, which is longer than usual due to supply chain issues caused by the ongoing pandemic.

“It helps bring the neighborhood back to life,” Clark said. “It basically helps to have a new home in an older neighborhood and to own a family that might not (otherwise) have this opportunity. It’s a good feeling.”

In total, the city invested approximately $250,000 to purchase and renovate the 1,287-square-foot home with three bedrooms, one-and-a-half bathrooms and a detached two-car garage. The selling price is listed at $138,000.

“That’s why it’s so important for HUD to provide these funds, because it wouldn’t happen otherwise,” Berger said. “It may have been remodeled if left on the market, but probably not to that quality. We’d like this home to be here and last” for decades to come as an owner-occupied single family home.

Applicants must meet federal household income limits based on household size and have a minimum income of $31,500. For a family of four, the household income limit to apply is $61,050.

Financing is available through the city for those who cannot obtain a conventional loan.

The application period will be open until February 28 and the city will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday February 13 and Saturday February 19.

Davenport recently acquired another home at 1413 West 13th St., and rehabilitation is expected to begin this spring.

Visit www.davenportiowa.com/urbanhomestead to learn more and apply.

Typically, the city does one or two home renovations a year through the Urban Homestead program. But city officials hope to do more in the next three years with an influx of federal recovery dollars.

Last year, aldermen budgeted $4 million of the nearly $41 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds received by the city to help homeowners and developers buy and rehabilitate homes and businesses. vacant and derelict land in owner occupied single family homes in low income areas of the city.

According to a quarterly update from the city, staff are evaluating locations and strategies “to work creatively with existing owners to help spur rehabilitation.”

City staff are expected to discuss the issue in more detail during a working session with Davenport City Council scheduled for Tuesday, February 8.

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