Demolition planned for 4 Red Oak properties through SWIHTF

The Southwest Iowa Housing Trust Fund (SWIHTF) Board recently approved four applications submitted by the city of Red Oak for the demolition program.
The program, which is funded through SWIHTF, is designed to assist cities with the cost of demolition of blighted, residential properties.
SWIHTF will pay 50% of the cost, up to $15,000, for demolition of the city owned properties. Over the past seven years, the trust fund and partnering cities have demolished 37 dilapidated houses that were beyond repair.
All cities within the SWIHTF region of Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, and Shelby counties can apply at any time. The SWIHTF Board meets quarterly to review, score, and approve the applications.
Scoring criteria includes:
• The city utilized the grant last year.
• An asbestos inspection has been completed.
• The condition of the building/collapse, inherent danger of the property, impact on the neighborhood, and plans for the space after demolition. Red Oak Mayor Shawnna Silvius said the removal of dilapidated buildings remains a high priority of the City of Red Oak.
“When I visit our schools, civic organizations and with people in the community, one of their main concerns is the extent of dilapidated and dangerous properties within the community which greatly detract from the beauty of our hometown,” said Silvius. “As mayor, knowing how many properties are now the city’s, I am driven to lead by example. Growing property valuations is essential to improve our tax base, and housing is one of our most critical needs.”
Silvius added that one of the biggest benefits to this program is that it allows for cities to promote beautification initiatives that will build communities where families choose to live and businesses choose to locate.
“Eliminating our nuisance lots and thinking out of the box to redevelop areas, whether infill housing or redeveloped blocks using tiny home concepts to 3-D printed concrete houses, or creating other community garden, splash pad or river front/park-type amenities, we can literally rejuvenate dying areas of town into something bright and beautiful,” commented Silvius.
Southwest Iowa Housing Trust Fund continues to accept applications for its Demolition Program for projects in Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page and Shelby counties.
For questions or to request/send an application, contact Sandy Hansen at 243-4196 or email

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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