Former Manor Homes Residents Celebrate Success Stories - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Former Manor Homes Residents Celebrate Success Stories

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    A 60-year old public housing complex in Rock Island will start to come down starting Wednesday morning. Residents in Manor Homes started relocating last Spring.

     The 14 buildings in the obsolete barrack-style housing complex are being replaced with new development. Tuesday night though, focus was really on some of the people who previously called it home. Of the 102 families that lived there not only are more than half now out of the public housing program, but a total of 24 families actually purchased a home of their own. Another handful are working toward the same thing and most of them never considered it possible. 

     Originally from Burma, Mu is a former resident of Manor Homes. Now she can't stop smiling because she and her husband and three kids now have a house to call their own. 

     "My kids are happy in our new house, with a garden and nearby the school and community healthcare," she said.

     Dozens of others were at the Rock Island Housing Authority Tuesday night celebrating a "big wow" as they call it. When they were told they'd need to relocate about a year before Manor Homes closed they all made the decision to move on from the public housing system, to become home buyers.

     "Most of these families came to public housing because they were in need. A lot of them were refugees, came here with nothing," said Gail Brooks, Director of Pubic Relations for RIHA.

      It was a lot of hard work and desire on their part along with the help from RIHA connecting families to resources they needed.

     "Mortgage lenders, realtors, they understand our residents and were able to help them," said Brooks.

      For the city it was important that these families be here to stay. "Renters can come and renters can go but homeowners stay and have an impact on the community," added Brooks.

     Many of them are thinking about all the opportunities could come along with owning a home. From the big things like saving for their kids to go to college, to the small - "I can plant a lot of stuff in the summer, I like to plant gardens," said Mu.

     Once the Manor Homes buildings are demolished, work will begin on a brand new subdivision there with 55 mixed-income homes and duplexes for rent.

 

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