For Immediate Release Please: October 5, 2021
Contact: Laura Snyder, CEO, Rockford Housing Authority 815-489-8570
SECTION 18 APPROVED FOR
FAIRGROUNDS VALLEY APARTMENTS, ROCKFORD ILLINOIS
“The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has determined that the property for demolition is obsolete as to physical condition, location, and other diminishing factors. They have concluded that no reasonable program of modification is cost-effective to return the Fairgrounds development to its useful life,” states Laura Snyder, RHA, CEO. “We feel this is a positive and exciting step in the development of affordable housing for our community,” concludes Ms. Snyder.
Constructed in 1969, Fairgrounds Valley Apartments is categorized as a distressed property. As a result, the early first phase of the decommissioning process of the over fifty-two-year-old infrastructure is expected to last a multitude of weeks. “This is expected to cause minimal disruption, states Owen Carter, Director of Operations, at RHA. Continuing, “After the final implementation of resident relocation, contractors will be commencing in the future some limited decommissioning.”
FAIRGROUNDS VALLEY IS A SEVERELY DISTRESSED PROPERTY
As part of the due diligence, it was projected that the total estimated current rehabilitation costs for all units would be approximately 34 million dollars. A recent physical needs assessment conducted for RHA identified significant structural elements deficiencies. RHA plans to use Tenant Protection Vouchers to relocate residents to sites with high opportunity scores.
As part of the overall redevelopment plan, RHA, through its non-profit, Bridge Rockford is acquiring and rehabilitating distressed foreclosed single-family homes in high opportunity areas within Winnebago County. “These newly renovated single-family homes will provide quality, affordable housing for our RHA residents, states Erin Woosley, RHA Redevelopment Coordinator. Residents of Fairgrounds Valley will have the first opportunity to select from these homes. Women head 91.6 percent of Fairground’s current households, and the complex is home to 360 children under the age of 18.
DE MINIMIS DEMOLITION
One hundred percent (100%) of the Fairground units will be replaced with 158 new Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPV’s). “Tenant Protection Vouchers will allow the residents at Fairgrounds to locate and secure suitable housing in greater opportunity areas while protecting the subsidy assistance. The assistance moves with that household to another suitable location of choice.” states Ms. Snyder.
RHA staff has hosted several meetings as a group and individually with the individuals and families who would be affected by the approved Section 18 application. Three community resident meetings have provided a backdrop and the starting point for communication about the plans for Fairgrounds Valley Apartments. Rockford Housing Authority’s CEO, Laura Snyder, Rockford Housing Authority Relocation Staff, and the Redevelopment Coordinator, Erin Woosley, facilitated these meetings. At that time, RHA discussed the proposed demolition plan for Fairgrounds Valley.
THE NEEDS OF THE ROCKFORD MARKET FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING
“At RHA we have a clear understanding of who our residents are and what they want and need. RHA provides homes for the lowest income people among us, providing dignified homes for the elderly and disabled and an opportunity for low-income families to secure stable housing while they work to climb the economic ladder to a better life”, reflects Ms. Snyder. There are no plans for redevelopment of the Fairgrounds property at this time.