FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) This spring and summer, the city will work toward improving your view on the way to downtown Fort Wayne. Officials announced that the city will renovate eight homes in the west central neighborhood.
Using a federal grant, the city spent nearly half a million dollars to buy homes that had seen better days.
“Finding houses that were on key corridors, coming into and out of downtown,” said Heather Presley-Cowen, Deputy Director of Community Development.
Each property will stay a rental home. Officials plan to spend at least $100,000 on renovations per property.
“Avoid demolition if we could in a historic district and really address market failure where the private investment folks weren’t interested in coming in and making that happen,” said Presley-Cowen.
The city did a similar project last year half the size, renovating some homes on Washington Boulevard.
“We knew it worked when we did the 800 block of west central, it was huge for the neighborhood, the value stabilized, we saw home ownership go up on that block, we saw a block that never would have changed had we not gotten involved, other than to see a bunch of missing teeth in a really important area,” said Presley-Cowen.
Rachel Kyser now lives in one of those homes.
“I think it’s going to help a lot of people who might not be able to afford a brand new awesome home and these houses really are gorgeous and definitely worth it,” said Kyser.
Officials expect companies to buy these homes, renovate them, and have them rented out by the end of the summer.
They say it’s too soon to know how much each home’s monthly rent payment will be.