The Affordable Housing Network, Four Oaks and other community partners launched the second phase of work in the Wellington Heights neighborhood of Cedar Rapids in fall 2019. Following the catastrophic flood of 2008 that impacted hundreds of homes in the historic neighborhood, AHNI acquired and remodeled more than 100 homes to reduce density, restore damaged homes, increase home ownership and encourage individual, family and community success. In phase two, we have committed to restoring 12-15 additional homes over the next five years.
This home, 1501 Beaver Ave. SE, is one of the first homes in phase 2. This two-story home had extensive damage and had been unoccupied for some time. Work began in fall 2019. Check out the video of "before" and "during" pictures to see the project from the beginning!
These are trying times. As the world, our nation and state look to combat an invisible virus, the challenges for families in poverty are in full view; job loss, homelessness, mental health problems.
We must look forward. Four Oaks, the Affordable Housing Network, Inc. (AHNI), Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association (WHNA) and dozens of community partners have made gains with families – gains we do not want to see diminished.
The Wellington Heights neighborhood has a long, proud history as one of Cedar Rapids’ historic neighborhoods.In recent years, positive developments, like TotalChild have taken place to make the neighborhood stronger.
The TotalChild approach, is an ambitious goal; strengthen families in crisis through direct work and help them acquire permanent housing. While more than 1400 children in crisis have been helped, 100 properties in Wellington Heights have been rehabilitated. That alone has increased single-family homeownership and improved the quality of properties and the lives of children and families in the neighborhood. Cedar Rapids Police Department statistics also show a 25 percent reduction in crime.
Having now exceeded the initial goal, Four Oaks, AHNI and community partners are planning the next phase of home revitalization. A “Report to the Community Gathering,” with key collaborators is planned early fall, where leaders will strategize the continuing steps.
The next phase involves improving an additional 12 to 15 properties over the next five years. This collaboration will remain focused on strengthening the community, making homeownership a possibility for more low/moderate income families, and increasing the growing pride in the neighborhood.
These efforts are not possible without the steadfast support from the City of Cedar Rapids along with the work of community leaders and partnerships. Due to the dedication and commitment from everyone involved, Wellington Heights’ proud history as one of Cedar Rapids historic neighborhoods will continue to grow and flourish and our children and families will all benefit.