The mission of the Rockford Housing Authority states that “RHA partners with the community and responsible residents to transform houses into homes while guiding families to self-sufficiency”. To accomplish its mission, RHA recognizes that all of its housing developments must provide quality of life opportunities for its residents and positively contribute to the neighborhood and community in which it’s located. To ensure RHA developments meet these goals, RHA has researched best practices in resident housing and community development services and has focused these into a redevelopment plan.
In 2015, RHA completed a $7.2 million dollar energy performance contract. This contract included water conservation, electrical upgrades and building system improvements that will provide more efficient, comfortable and cost saving living units to all residents. These energy savings are improvements to 9 of its 11 public housing developments. These upgrade investments along with RAD conversion, will allow the Authority to meet its strategic goal to upgrade and modernize housing units.
In 2012, the Rockford Housing Authority was awarded a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant. Together with community partners, neighborhood residents along with Fairgrounds residents, created an award winning Choice Neighborhoods Transformation Plan for Ellis Heights. Although the Choice Neighborhoods plan was tailored to Ellis Heights, RHA will use the plan as a framework for redeveloping other neighborhoods in which RHA has housing units and is making investments in the neighborhood.
The housing strategy for Ellis Heights is premised upon de-concentration of poverty and the creation of mixed income living environments. All housing proposals are aimed at creating housing opportunities that offer fair housing access to housing choices for all residents.
The Choice Neighborhood plan led to a larger initiative to convert public housing units to HUD’s RAD program.
Rockford Housing Authority’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Plan (RAD)
Rockford Housing Authority’s plan to convert 1100 public housing units through HUD’s RAD program will allow the Authority to secure private investments to meet its mission of transforming houses into homes. Rockford Housing Authority is subject to 1 for 1 unit replacement requirements under RAD. The rehabilitated or newly constructed affordable housing units will be located in neighborhoods of choice, providing residents with increased opportunities of education, transportation and employment.
Fairgrounds Valley RAD – Fairgrounds Valley has been awarded a multi-phase RAD conversion consisting of three phases. Phase 1 will include 43 units of replacement housing for current Fairgrounds residents. These units will be new constructions, located in an opportunity area on South New Towne drive close to education, transportation and job opportunities. Phase 2 will consist of 106 units of Scattered Site housing offering residents a choice of neighborhoods and increased opportunity. Phase 3 will be newly constructed units on the original site of Fairgrounds Valley housing development. Following the Choice Neighborhoods infill housing plan for phase 3 will bring additional investment to Ellis Heights and continue the good work started with the transformation plan.
Scattered Sites RAD – Rockford Housing Authority currently owns approximately 300 scattered sites units throughout the City of Rockford. All units will undergo rehabilitation and modernization providing residents with energy efficient modernized housing units.
Orton Keyes RAD – The Orton Keyes RAD plan will upgrade and modernize all 175 units of this development. Rehabilitation of these units will include added interior unit amenities, onsite laundry facilities and improved community spaces that will make Orton Keyes a neighborhood of choice.
Brewington Oaks Redevelopment – After in depth analysis and multiple studies, it has been determined that to best serve current and future tenants of this development, Brewington Oaks must be demolished and redeveloped. Through these analysis’s it has been deemed that the two high-rise towers consisting of 418 units are obsolete. Rockford Housing Authority’s redevelopment plan reflects the need to replace these units with smaller assisted housing developments… exactly how is currently under review. A joint panel of Brewington residents and community members are currently reviewing what possibilities exist and how they may fit into a regional housing plan.