Gorman and Company reports that it has closed on financing for the controversial S. New Towne Road public housing project. They say that construction is expected to begin in July.
The project has been the focus of loud protests by area residents concerned about the impact of a public housing project on neighborhoods already experiencing declining property values. Concerns over crime were also raised, as some current Rockford Housing Authority housing projects, specifically Fairgrounds and Concord Commons, have problems with violent crime.
Resistance by some members of city council to the S. New Towne project became so strong, Gorman decided to scale down the project from nearly 80 units to 49 units so as to not need council approval to proceed.
Gorman says in a news release that is “the first phase of a five-year masterplan to transform conventional public housing in Rockford, IL” which would over time replace and reposition 1,100 existing units of public housing and provide a stronger support system for those who use it.
Among their plans is to replace 210 units in the Fairgrounds housing project, adding that the New Towne Drive project is the first phase of that plan.
Gorman says the project is being financed through a combination of taxpayer and private funding, including low income tax credits from the Illinois Housing Development Authority and private financing from Citibank.