English: Cedar Rapids, City Hall, photographed by User:Iowahwyman on June 17, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The city has bought and torn downrebuilt housesfor nearly five years. I’ve investigated this myself since 2011! The only answers I’ve ever been given for this is that the “owners applied for the buyout” and that it is for the “city’s preferred flood plan“. Just because the city has a plan doesn’t mean that it has to make sense. Chris Earl’s investigative report generated more questions than answers for me.
Is it only newsworthy if a Mathew 25 aka Block by Block house is rebuilt and demolished? How many other rebuilt houses were bought by the city with our tax dollars to be torn down? I know of two other properties that were rebuilt, occupied, bought by the city and torn down. They weren’t houses that Block by Block rebuilt but it was only a matter of time before they went after Block by Block houses. The houses that were rebuilt, occupied, and sold to the city by landlords never made the news! The question I have is why did they sell out? Were they offered an incentive? Did they sell out because they’d never be able to get that kind of return on the market? 107% isn’t a bad deal is it? I don’t blame the landlords for wanting to sell out, especially if there was an incentive. Chris Earldoes a fair job in his reporting but I wish that the report would have focused more on the city taking federal money to tear down rebuilt houses than Mathew 25. I am more interested in the people who lived in those rebuilt homes. Where are they now? Were they given money to move? Are they happy? Would they have stayed if they were given a chance to purchase the house? Couldn’t these houses could have been sold through the cities “Roots Program“.
The city has done a lot of negotiating with the federal government to get their money to tear down rebuilt houses but when it comes to anyone in the city trying to save a rebuilt house from demolition there is no negotiating with the city. Once the city agrees to take that federal money the laws dictate that the house must be demolished. After 1100 homes have gone to the landfill you would think that the city would be satisfied but they’re not. The will continue to take our tax money to demolish rebuilt homes until they are stopped! Who will stop them?
Two pieces of news on the flood-damaged Time Check Recreation Center:
At noon Tuesday, the office of Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, announced that the Federal Emergency Management will pay the city $1,638,155, which is the amount FEMA has determined is the cost to replace the building. Harkin’s office noted that “biohazardous conditions within the facility” at the time of the FEMA inspection convinced the agency that the flood-damaged building could not be renovated.
Also this week, the City Council is expected to approve an agreement with the Cedar Rapids Community Schools, which will let the city use the school district’s existing modular classroom at Harrison Elementary School as a community resource center from June 15 through Aug. 14. The resource center will serve as a temporary neighborhood center to serve some of the functions that the Time Check Recreation Center did.
I think it would take a great deal of courage to panhandle for money. I wonder how much of what ‘Jerry’ here says is true?
Do the other two guys own a house and are they panhandling for money to buy land? One lady from my Facebook page thinks they might have a house over by Kennedy High School (which is a nice part of town).
While FEMA goes broke Cedar Rapids has been giving away property that was acquired with FEMA funding to developers so that developers could profit without going through a bidding process! Not only is this ILLEGAL but it is unethical! One-hundred-twenty year old tax bases were destroyed in the name of “flood recovery” and now we supposedly have a “housing crisis”! Generations of family homes were destroyed for the “preferred plan” a plan that even city workers didn’t know about.