Stable and affordable housing is a necessary foundation for life-long success.
Without access to safe, stable, and affordable housing, children and families struggle to maintain gainful employment, attend school regularly, provide basic needs, and more.
By collaborating with the Affordable Housing Network, Inc. and Jane Boyd Community House, Four Oaks is able to provide reliable and affordable housing options for children and families across Iowa.
Following the devastating flood of 2008 that impacted hundreds of homes in Cedar Rapids and eastern Iowa, Four Oaks and our affiliate agencies began restoring the historic neighborhood of Wellington Heights. One affiliate, the Affordable Housing Network (AHNI), acquired and remodeled more than 100 homes in this neighborhood.
Through AHNI's housing efforts, the Wellington Heights neighborhood now has a reduced housing density, revitalized homes, an increased percentage of homeownership, and has seen individual, family, and community success. The Cedar Rapids police department also reported a significant reduction in crime in this neighborhood.
Four Oaks came alongside AHNI's housing efforts to provide the tenants with supportive services through our TotalChild® model. Families and children in the neighborhood have been provided additional support in maintaining stable employment, education, basic needs, workforce training, and more.
Begin in 2019 Four Oaks and AHNI launched the second phase of the Wellington Heights project. From 2019 to 2023 our goal is to remodel an additional 12-15 homes, further impacting the neighborhood and the Cedar Rapids community.
Follow the process of one Wellington Heights home from an aging house in poor condition to a fully remodeled home suitable for a family to live in and thrive.
Board Member Editorial: We must look forward
Four Oaks & AHNI Board Member
These are trying times. As the world, our nation and state look to combat an invisible virus, the challenges for families in poverty are in full view; job loss, homelessness, mental health problems.
We must look forward. Four Oaks, the Affordable Housing Network, Inc. (AHNI), Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association (WHNA) and dozens of community partners have made gains with families – gains we do not want to see diminished.
The Wellington Heights neighborhood has a long, proud history as one of Cedar Rapids’ historic neighborhoods. In recent years, positive developments, like TotalChild® have taken place to make the neighborhood stronger.
The TotalChild® approach, is an ambitious goal; strengthen families in crisis through direct work and help them acquire permanent housing. While more than 1400 children in crisis have been helped, 100 properties in Wellington Heights have been rehabilitated.
That alone has increased single-family homeownership and improved the quality of properties and the lives of children and families in the neighborhood. Cedar Rapids Police Department statistics also show a 25 percent reduction in crime.
Having now exceeded the initial goal, Four Oaks, AHNI and community partners are planning the next phase of home revitalization. A “Report to the Community Gathering,” with key collaborators is planned early fall, where leaders will strategize the continuing steps.
The next phase involves improving an additional 12 to 15 properties over the next five years. This collaboration will remain focused on strengthening the community, making homeownership a possibility for more low/moderate income families, and increasing the growing pride in the neighborhood.
These efforts are not possible without the steadfast support from the City of Cedar Rapids along with the work of community leaders and partnerships. Due to the dedication and commitment from everyone involved, Wellington Heights’ proud history as one of Cedar Rapids historic neighborhoods will continue to grow and flourish and our children and families will all benefit.