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Historic Houses in Wellington Heights

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- The Total Child project in Wellington Heights aims to strengthen the neighborhood by providing a better environment for children to grow. That includes getting rid of homes deemed as eye sores,

However, the planned removal of several historic homes has some concerned.

To some they're just old, creaky houses, but Beth DeBoom for Save CR Heritage there's beauty in the breakdown.

You come to Wellington Heights to see beautiful old homes, and we can't be losing more of those homes, DeBoom said.

Its exactly what DeBoom and her organization fears. She's completely in support of the Total Child project, which has remodeled more than 40 of 75 selected homes and the neighborhood.

The homes they have renovated are beautiful, and I think it has made a difference in crime, DeBoom said.

The Affordable Housing Network, however, says there are some homes that can't be remodeled - Specifically on 1508 Washington Ave SE and 624 14th street SE.

Joe Lock says the Washington Avenue Location was deemed by a local historian to have no historic value.

As for the 14th street location, it's in good condition structurally, but...

The house is so small, that the refrigerator can't fit in the kitchen, it's in the living room, Lock said.

Lock says they will knock the house on 14th street down, turning it into a yard for the house next door. The house next door will be expanded for families. The Washington avenue lot will remain empty until needed.

Lock says in this case it comes down to cost.

If something takes $200,000 dollars to renovate and to bring it back to where the market value is $75,000 the numbers don't work, it's upside down, Lock said.

DeBoom says differently.

Renovating a home isn't as costly as people think it's usually a good investment, DeBoom said.

She says if the goal is renovating Wellington, homes like the ones on 1508 Washington Ave SE and 624 14th street SE can't be forgotten.

DeBoom says they want to talk about demolition plans and alternatives with the Affordable Housing Network. Lock says he would be open to that. Both sides hope to meet soon.
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