Warren considers alternative to boarding up houses

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Around the city of Warren there is no shortage of homes covered in plywood. Howard Wedgren, president of SecureView saw the same sites in cities such as Chicago and Cleveland. He says once the plywood goes up the property values goes down.

“The community starts to die and with our product we are trying to prevent that from happening,” Wedgren said.

The product is called SecureView. It is a Plexiglas material that fits over the doors and windows of the home. Wedgren covered the windows and doors on a house on Mercer Avenue to show how it works.

Wedgren said you can take an axe or a sledgehammer to the product and it will not break.

Matt Martin with the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership said they are always looking for new ways to secure vacant homes and preserve their appearance.

“It is nice to keep people out of it but is also keeps it from having that plywood look to it,” Martin said.

The problem with SecureView is that it is more costly than plywood. The cost to put SecureView on a home is about $1,200. The cost to tear down a house is about $6,000 if there is no asbestos removal.

Warren Mayor Doug Franklin said he wants to avoid tearing down houses that are structurally sound.

“There are houses we have come out 10 to 20 times to re-board up because they are unsafe. This would eliminate that recurring man hour cost,” said Warren Mayor Doug Franklin.

Franklin said they will perform a cost benefit analysis to see if the city can afford to begin using SecureView. The cost to put SecureView on a home is approximately $1,200.

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