Rock Island Housing Authority To Honor New Home Owners - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Rock Island Housing Authority To Honor New Home Owners

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The Rock Island Housing Authority plans to recognize 24 homeowners who were former residents of Manor Homes on Tuesday, February 4, 2014.

The families were relocated after the old property is set to be destroyed.

They're now living in their own homes.

Manor Homes used to serve 102 families.

The 60-year-old property and 14 buildings were home to more than 300 people.

In their place, the Rock Island housing authority says there will be a subdivision featuring 55-single family homes and duplexes for rent.

The estimated $12-million project is expected to be completed in two years.

The following press release is from Gail Brooks with the Rock Island Housing Authority;

Former Manor Homes Residents  Get A Big WOW!!! Twenty-three Manor Homes Families Are Now Homeowners

RIHA began the relocation process for the 102 families living at Manor Homes; an obsolete barrack-style public housing complex, in April 2013.

As part of the process, residents were provided with multiple relocation options including the purchase of their own home.

Through a combination of relocation assistance, one-on-one meetings and connecting families with required resources and support services, 49% of the households that once depended on government subsidies are now living financially independent lives in their own homes, or in market-rate apartments.

On Tuesday, February 4th at 6:00pm, the Rock Island Housing Authority (RIHA) is going to recognize the twenty-four new homeowners with what Klo Wah, a former Manor Homes resident, refers to as a "BIG WOW."

"This is a celebration of success!" states Klo. "I never thought I would buy a house and now I have one. We are so happy!"

As part of the changing face of public housing, RIHA assists public housing residents and Housing Choice Voucher participants in their efforts to become financially self-sufficient, economically independent and less dependent upon government assistance. The program designed to provide this assistance is known as the RIHA Self-Sufficiency Program.

"When I heard they would tear down Manor Homes, I was worried," states Eh Christ Htoo. "Then I heard about Habitat for Humanity.

I was very interested. My friend helped me with the application and Habitat accepted my family.

I am so grateful for the support and help with relocation that RIHA and Manor Homes gave me.

It is greatly appreciated. Soon my family will have a new house and we are so excited about it!"

Of the 102 Manor Homes households relocated as a result of the redevelopment of that property, only 12 (11%) remain in Public Housing. Four families transferred to another RIHA property and eight transferred to other Public Housing properties in the area.

Thirty-five families (33%), including one homeowner, received a Section 8 Relocation voucher.

Twenty-seven (26%) families qualified for and now rent a market-rate apartment or home.

A total of twenty-four (22%) families, including one Section 8 Relocation voucher holder, purchased a home. Eighteen (17%) of the homeowners remained within the City of Rock Island.

An additional five families are participating in the RIHA Homebuyer Incentive program and are continuing to work toward homeownership ultimately bringing the homeownership total to twenty-nine (28%) families.

The result is a total of fifty-five (53%) families ultimately leaving the government subsidized Public Housing program.

Through its Self-Sufficiency and Homebuyer Incentive programs, RIHA is renewing neighborhoods from within by positively impacting the lives of the people it serves.

Self-Sufficiency program services range from participants receiving their GED to securing employment and increasing their income to achieving homeownership and eliminating their need for housing subsidies.

By applying this same mindset and strategy to the relocation process, RIHA and its Self-Sufficiency Program partners played an integral role in changing and improving the community by improving the lives of the people living there.

Together, RIHA and its partners are restoring hope and equal opportunities by utilizing public housing as a stepping stone to increase opportunity, offer more choices and enhance the quality of life for all residents.

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