116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — More Geneva Tower residents were able to move back home this week, since being displaced by a fire in February.
Nine residents returned to Geneva Tower on Tuesday, and on Wednesday about 12 residents who live on the 12th floor returned, according to a news release from Affordable Housing Network, which owns Geneva Tower.
The network hopes to have all residents back in the tower by the middle of next week, even though restoration of the ninth floor — where the fire started on Feb. 20 — likely won’t be finished for several more weeks.
Residents of the ninth floor will be moved into vacant apartments on other floors of the building.
Geneva Tower, located in downtown Cedar Rapids, rents to low-income seniors and adults with disabilities. It is home to 160 residents, all of whom were displaced by the fire. All residents were safely evacuated the night of the fire.
There are about 30 individuals who were displaced from floors nine through 11 who have yet to reoccupy their units. Other housing arrangements have been made for those residents.
The American Red Cross created a temporary shelter immediately after the fire at the Veterans Memorial Building. The shelter was open until March 3, when the residents of the bottom eight floors were able to return to Geneva, and other arrangements were made for those who couldn’t return.
The tower passed a fire safety inspection the Tuesday before the fire started.
The city report from that inspection outlines a few minor infractions that needed to be addressed, including combustible items being stored in front of electrical panels, a couple of fire doors which were left open and a fire pump which was overdue for service but still operational.
Previous city inspection reports obtained by The Gazette show the tower has regularly passed inspections. The reports for the past five years — back through 2018 — each have a few minor infractions, but no recurring issues.
Two safety inspection reports obtained from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which were completed in December 2018 and October 2021, show that the tower passed both inspections with some infractions. Geneva Tower is HUD-subsidized and inspected by HUD every one to three years.
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