Dubuque Selling Flipped Homes to Help Curb Crime

by Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

DUBUQUE, Iowa - There are several homes for sale in one Dubuque neighborhood, but the seller might surprise you. It's the city of Dubuque.

City leaders are hoping to revitalize the Washington Street neighborhood by gutting some of the homes, and in doing so, cutting down on crime.

Dubuque Police say that neighborhood's call for services are above the city's average and that the re-vamps are warranted.

The city bought and demolished dozens of properties on the north side of town to make way for the Bee Branch Project, a flood prevention project. But seven of those homes were spared. So crews flipped them, and are now selling them for a fraction of the cost.

A few homes along Washington Street sit empty and rundown.
But the city's revitalization project is breathing new life into these homes in need of a make-over.

City of Dubuque's Kris Neyen said, "The homes have all new mechanicals, new electrics, new kitchen, new bathrooms and new flooring. "

People already living in Washington Street neighborhood are excited about the prospect of more home-owners moving in.

Home Renter Murrell Griffen said, "Owning one of them it's anybody's dream to own your own house. "

Homeowner Mike Hayes said, "If they could just get somebody to buy them, I wouldn't mind. The more the merrier, you know. "

City leaders say most home-owners generally take pride in their home's appearance.

"A couple of the properties were duplexes and we converted them to single families and that's what is making them the four or five bedroom. So we're trying to get families back into the neighborhood, " said Neyen.

In order to entice buyers the city is selling the homes at a lower cost for people who qualify.

"We're offering up to 40-thousand to come off the purchase price making the mortgage at the lender much less because that will be an interest bearing loan," said Neyen.

And the city hopes that's an offer too good to refuse.

Realtors will host open houses at three of those homes coming this Sunday from 11 am until 12-30 pm.
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