"SHSI Certificate of Recognition"
"Best on the Web"

Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
Jump to: navigation, search

DREAMS. Innovative programs of the City of Dubuque to renovate once-abandoned and dilapidated houses and stabilize deteriorating neighborhoods. Starting in 1993, the City purchased rundown property which was then sold to low-to-moderate income residents and first-time buyers. The buyer had to put 3% down on the house and make monthly payments of about $400.00. Financing was secured through one of four lenders with the City often providing a long-term second mortgage. (1)

Participants were required to take thirteen-week courses in finance, budgeting and rehabilitation of older homes and then live in the house for five years or pay a penalty. By 1996, investment in some of the city's oldest neighborhoods totaled $659,481. Of those involved in the program, eleven families had renovated houses increasing their assessed value by 300%. No family had defaulted on a loan. (2)

Finding buyers for DREAM houses was not always successful. A property on University Avenue that had been vacate for more than 20 years had been purchased from Dubuque County for one dollar by the city. After $14,000 had been invested in repairs in hopes that it would be purchased and renovated as part of the DREAMS program, the house was sold to a local developer for one thousand dollars. (3)



1. Arnold, Bill. "4 Lenders Bankroll DREAMS," Telegraph Herald, January 29, 1993, p. 1

2. Wilkinson, Jennifer. "Dubuque Looking to Sell DREAM House for $1,000," Telegraph Herald, June 13, 1998, p. 1. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19980613&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

3. Ibid.