Rejuvenating central Davenport – one house at a time

Rejuvenate Housing, a new non-profit organization, and Quad City Bank & Trust (QCBT) have teamed up to fix up and improve residential neighborhoods in central Davenport. 

Using a $25,000 grant from QCBT, Rejuvenate Housing has renovated its first house and is preparing to close on the sale to a new homeowner. To celebrate the milestone, QCBT and Rejuvenate Housing unveiled the 603 W. 14th St. home during an open house Thursday, July 7.

Founded in 2021, Rejuvenate Housing is a non-profit organization created to address the redevelopment of older neighborhoods by creating homeownership opportunities and making central Davenport more sustainable, desirable, and attractive.

QCBT assisted Rejuvenate Housing by awarding the grant as well as providing a construction loan to cover the cost of renovations. 

“We want to make sure that all of our communities have access to financing and have access to buying a home,” said Beth Dunn, vice president, commercial banking officer of QCBT. “It always helps stabilize the neighborhoods and the Quad Cities when we’re using existing housing stock and we’re moving families in rather than just letting a house sit empty.”

Ms. Dunn added that “being a bank is supporting your community by investing in these neighborhoods and these types of projects.”  

Rejuvenate Housing was inspired by the vision and mission of the former Rejuvenate Davenport, a grassroots redevelopment organization launched in 1987 by Donald Decker, who died in March of 2021. 

“Decker was a great leader in downtown who was very colorful … and had the tendency to lead and the ability to lead other business leaders to raise money,” Davenport Attorney Curt Beason, the secretary of Rejuvenate Housing, said during the open house. He credited Mr. Decker with “taking on the projects in the downtown that had fallen down in disrepair” and working with others “to bring back the downtown community.”

Former Davenport Mayor Ed Winborn, who serves as Rejuvenate Housing treasurer, said “I live in the neighborhood. I grew up here, and I would just like to thank Don Decker for having the vision to start Rejuvenate Housing and I would like to thank Quad City Bank. The idea behind our project is to revitalize housing in the central part of Davenport. There are some beautiful homes here that can be purchased for a very reasonable price.”  

The goals of the new Rejuvenate Housing group include: 

  • Identify and acquire residential properties that can be restored as quality single-family homes. 
  • Secure financing to renovate properties through private fundraising, grant opportunities, and housing program assistance. 
  • Identify and secure low-moderate income single-family buyers.

The group has additional renovation projects planned in Davenport’s urban areas including a second house recently donated by St. Ambrose University. Renovations of the home at 514 W. 17th St. are planned for August of 2022. 

Rejuvenate Housing also plans to acquire the property next door to its first completed project and has cleared a blighted structure on West 14th Street where it has future plans for new housing.

Mr. Winborn said “Our purpose is to acquire houses that are condemned or abandoned, fix them up with the help of Quad City Bank…” And by attracting new families to the neighborhood, “I really think that will help revitalize the central part of Davenport.” 

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