ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford has entered a partnership to bring new affordable housing to the “Forest City.”

Alternative energy and a nearby high school are all part of the plan. Numerous Rockford government and non-profit organizations have come together for the project, which hopes to revolutionize one of the city’s subdivisions.

“To make this land right here where you stand on the first all-electric subdivision in Rockford,” said Keri Asevedo, executive director of the Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity.

The Region 1 Planning Council is teaming up with the City, Rockford Public Schools and Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity. The collaboration will help transform the Emerson Estates subdivision on Chisholm Trail.

“This grant was to make this subdivision all electric, to not be reliant on natural gas, to be able to dig geo-thermal wells right here where we stand,” Asevedo said.

“R1’s goal is to get local communities and local government ready for electric vehicles,” added Michael Dunn Jr., executive director of the R1 Planning Council. “R1 is donating an electric vehicle charger for every garage that Habitat builds, so every garage is immediately EV ready.”

Habitat plans to build 30 new single-family homes.

“So, what R1 has been able to do is to make this land available to the Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity,” Asevedo said. “To be able to purchase this land at cost and then develop this into affordable home ownership for families.”

RPS hopes that teachers from nearby Auburn High School will buy some of the homes. A new multi-use path will connect the subdivision to the school’s campus. The project will also offer opportunities for construction trades students to get hands on experience.

“What that’s done for the lives of our students is an even more important structure that’s being built,” said Dr. Ehren Jarret, RPS 205 superintendent. “We literally have hundreds of students who now have authentic college and career readiness skills and life skills.”

“This is really the way we are going to scale our organization, the way we are going to add more houses in the coming year because of partnerships with schools and students being able to come out here and build,” Asevedo added.

Partnership leaders plan to have the homes built in the next three years. The goal is to build 10 houses in 2023.