Waterloo abandoned houses could be renovated and rented - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo abandoned houses could be renovated and rented


WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Four abandoned houses set to be torn down in Waterloo could instead be renovated and rented out.

Boswell Property is offering to buy the four properties from the city for $3,500 each. Boswell Property then plans to renovate the houses and provide affordable rental housing in Waterloo.

Because of a section of the state code, abandoned and run-down properties can become city property. And typically, the city of Waterloo demolishes the homes.

The four houses in question are located on Park Avenue, Charles Street, Parker Street and Cottage Grove Avenue.

"A lot of these houses need to be demolished, but there are some that are absolutely worth renovating and rebuilding and that helps the city provide a tax base and provides affordable housing for hardworking people in Waterloo," Jonathan Boswell, owner of Boswell Property, said.

Boswell said the ultimate goal is to provide affordable housing. As an example, Boswell said three weeks ago a foreclosed property on Hess Road was abandoned and vandalized. Now, it's almost ready to be rented.

"Here's my stake. I manage 61 units in the Waterloo area. What happens is some of these blighted homes affect other rental properties in the area so my thought is I want to collaborate with the city and work on solving this problem together," Boswell said.

Boswell is working with the city's Planning and Development Department.

"He probably looked at 21 properties. We gave him a list. He chose these four because quite a few of the others he thought should come down and would help the neighborhoods they're in," said Noel Anderson with Waterloo's Planning and Development Department.

Boswell said since he owns and manages the properties he plans to build them right and maintain them correctly. But there were some concerns from the Building and Grounds Committee.

"Of course we're always trying to push for home ownership, but we need some rental properties out there that are in good condition, good landlord. They had some concerns so we're kind of doing this as a test with these four," Anderson said.

If the test works out, there could be more partnerships with Boswell in the future.

Boswell is from California, but moved to Waterloo this summer. Once he takes possession, he says he can have the four homes ready to be rented in two months.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

Powered by Frankly