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CBS 2 - Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

UniverCity Program Growing

IOWA CITY (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Darian Nagle-Gamm and her husband Jeremy always wanted to live in an older house, close to downtown. So when the UniverCity Neighborhood Partnership put a big red house on Governor Street on the market, they jumped at the chance.

"I think it looks beautiful. I think they did a great job. The floors are just gorgeously refinished, the kitchen looks great, the bathrooms look fantastic, they did such a great job," said Nagle-Gamm.

The UniverCity partnership spent about $55,000 remodeling the house that used to be a rental for college students, so that a family like the Nagle-Gamms would want to move in.

"It's tipping the balance back in some neighborhoods to close campus," Nagle-Gamm said. "Well, maybe not tipping completely back to single families, but it's making it more of a mix."

Creating that mix is a long-term goal for the city, and it's willing to spend the money to make that happen. All a family has to do is stay in a program house for five years, and the city will forgive their loan.

"It's the interest of the city to stabilize these neighborhoods. To make sure that they retain a balance between owner-occupied and rentals. It just promotes a much more healthy neighborhood and healthy balance," said housing rehab specialist Dave Powers.

And the city has been restoring houses all over town. Powers helps to make a lot of the decisions about how the houses will look. He says the program is actually making a tangible difference.

"It's a dream job, really. It's very rewarding. We've had neighborhoods, this is one of them, where we've done multiple properties, and really seen a change in the character of the area," Powers said.

That change means families like the Nagle-Gamms won't be looking for a new house any time soon.

"I think we're going to be here for a long time," Nagle-Gamm said.

The city is purchasing 16 more homes for the next phase of redesigns. They will become available for purchase within the coming months.
 
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