Rockford Housing Authority (RHA) CEO Ron Clewer asked the City of Rockford Monday night to partner with him and RHA to apply for a 2 million dollar loan from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to improve the Brewington Oaks senior living and disability high rise.
Clewer says he wants to be more transparent with the city when it comes to housing after the South New Towne Drive incident.
RHA and Wisconsin developer Gorman proposed building a 49 unit low income housing project on South New Towne Drive. Aldermen opposed it, and that led HUD to launch an investigation into the city to make sure they are in compliance with fair housing regulation.
Aldermen say Clewer was not transparent with them about the Brewington Oaks plan. They said they got an email from him in November, and heard nothing else about it.
1st Ward Alderman Tim Durkee says, “Planning and development meets in City Council every 2 weeks. RHA and [Winnebago Housing Authority] have a significant impact on the city and, the fact [Clewer has] not presented anything during that timeframe, your absence is stunning.”
5th Ward Alderman Venita Hervey says, “[The proposal was] brought too late, with too much with too little. And I wish we would have been in on the ground floor and I think that’s something maybe I could’ve supported. But the way it came to us, not just the 11th hour, it’s the 12th hour.”
Clewer tells Eyewitness News that RHA will apply for the HUD loan without the city of Rockford’s help.