Federal housing officials visited Rockford yesterday to remind city leaders they are obligated to provide fair housing for residents.
The meeting was prompted by concerns from regional representatives of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Last month, a developer withdrew plans to build a 65 apartment unit on Rockford’s east side, where residents of a west side public housing development could move. Some neighbors strongly opposed the plan, causing developer Gorman and Company to pull the proposal: Gorman is expected to rework and resubmit the plan to the city soon.
Rockford mayor Larry Morrissey says the city needs to move away from concentrated public housing. He says the ultimate strategy is for HUD to get out of public housing and transition into private sector affordable housing.
HUD sent letters to the city and Rockford Housing Authority last week to caution them against inaction on the project, which could be a civil rights violation. However, there is NOT an investigation at this time.