West Side Alive! Phase VI

West Side Alive! Phase VI


Last July, work began on the demolition of five dilapidated structures at the site of 817-829 N. Winnebago. They were acquired following an extended court battle with the owner.

Today, West Side Alive! is ready to showcase the new construction of 817, 825 and 829 North Winnebago—one of the many ways in which Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funded activities significantly improve the quality of life in Rockford, and most importantly, the lives of lower-income residents.

These homes are numbers four, five and six of a total of 18 to be built under West Side Alive! Phase VI. Since the program began in 1991, a total of 57 homes have been constructed. The homes on Winnebago are complete or near completion. 825 North Winnebago has been sold, and 829 is scheduled to close at the end of the month. Yet to come is demolition of the house at the corner of Whitman and Winnebago and the construction of the fourth home.

The three homes’ design models were developed by a local architect and were designed to harmonize with other homes in the neighborhood. They are appealing to the eye while being very affordable. Rockford Mayor Doug Scott said the West Side Alive! program has had positive impact on the city’s neighborhoods. “It’s more than just building a row of new houses,” he said. “The new construction encourages other property owners to fix up their homes and, as a result, it gives the whole area a brighter look.”

Scott was also supportive of the CDBG program. “West Side Alive! is just one example of how federal funds are being used as a catalyst in areas where there has been little or no private investment.” Activities such as this show the real importance the CDBG and HOME program plays on neighborhood stability. Some other examples of CDBG and HOME-funded activities include:

l The expansion and renovation of the Montague Branch Library.

l The start-up of the new construction of single-family housing at Lincolnwood Subdivision and at several other sites in partnership with a local non-profit.

l The provision of down payment assistance to 24 first-time homebuyers in 2002.

l The demolition of 26 dilapidated residential structures in 2001 and the O’Donnell’s building on West State Street.

l The acquisition of 31 properties for the Homestead and West Side Alive! first-time homebuyer programs and 15 properties for demolition in 2001.

l The rehabilitation of 28 houses in 2001.

l The provision of funds to agencies throughout this community for youth programming in the areas of youth centers, children’s facilities, child care services and youth services. The list of agencies funded include, but is not limited to, Let’s Talk It Out, Northwest Community Center, MotherHouse and Booker Washington Center.

l Assistance to increase public services in the areas of employment training and health services have been addressed by the funding of projects presented by the Bottomless Closet, Hands That Help, Promised Land Employment, YWCA and Black Health Care Coalition.

l Assistance to non-profit organizations in building capacity by funding projects such as the Council of Neighborhood Organizations and the provision of staff support to the Mayor’s Task Force on the Homeless.

l The removal of architectural barriers and reducing lead-based paint hazards have been addressed via the ramp building program (19 ramps constructed) and the state-funded lead-based paint program (22 units mitigated of lead hazards).

l The provision of funding for the self-employment training program for low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs.

CDBG and HOME funds are the principal source of revenue for localities, such as Rockford, to address the community needs of our neighborhoods. Today, we’re seeing our federal funds at work.

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