The Rockford Housing Authority and its Economic Development Partner, Bridge Rockford Alliance Inc., announce the Scattered Sight Initiative to acquire at-risk homes in Rockford’s Opportunity Zones. The intention and vision of this enterprise are to return properties to productive use for community residents. These quality, affordable homes, once restored, will provide decent, safe, sanitary dwellings that are in good repair for our community residents.
The Rockford Housing Authority’s Leadership Team understands that investing in homes in our community is an effective way to combat the ongoing effects of the housing crisis and assist with neighborhood revitalization efforts. This Scattered Sight Initiative is a ‘Best Practices’ for Quality Affordable Housing Community Rehab. The Initiative will work with local governments and community non-profit organizations to offer an opportunity that addresses vacant residential properties and the neighborhood blight that usually follows, which will benefit our community as a whole. “These properties are not beyond repair, even though they may have negatively impacted neighboring residences, but homes which require badly needed repairs, and for a number of reasons, have not had them,” states Laura Snyder RHA, CEO
The Initiative will allow the Rockford Housing Authority and Bridge Rockford to make necessary repairs and accessibility improvements while improving the quality of single-family housing. “This direction will also help to create vibrancy in neighborhoods throughout the greater Rockford area in the Opportunity Zones, as well as supporting other neighborhoods beyond these identified sectors. We believe, based on all the available data and current studies, that these homes, once improved and completely renovated, will attract further community investment. It will also preserve existing affordable housing stock that is often in near city centers. These homes are near community amenities such as schools, parks, medical facilities, shopping, jobs, and public transportation,” concludes Ms. Synder.
For the acquisition of these homes, the purchase values must be realistic and consist of properties, typically neglected or underutilized, that are candidates for rehab. The Rockford Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy was adopted community-wide in early 2020. The Scattered Sight Initiative will follow the guidelines of this neighborhood revitalization strategy, which balances the use of real estate market analysis with a qualitative approach that incorporates community assets, stakeholder input, and shared values. It draws on national best practices in community revitalization to suggest solutions for all Rockford’s neighborhoods.