In 2023, Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity (RAHFH) is immensely proud to be celebrating our 35th year of creating innovative housing solutions in the Rockford metropolitan area. This anniversary year calls for reflection on all we have accomplished, and it also brings excitement for all that lies ahead! Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity was incorporated in Rockford in 1988 by a small group of individuals who understood that families with low incomes in Rockford needed more than rent subsidies and public housing options; they needed an equitable opportunity at the American dream of owning a home. The organization started out small. Two years after forming, we built our first home on Clover Avenue. Two years after that, we built two more. It took the first ten years of our existence to build ten homes. We were carefully building a legacy from the ground up. But as we entered our second decade, RAHFH, which was initially operated purely by volunteers, slowly started to add staff. We steadily added more volunteers and donors. We opened the ReStore in 2007 to increase our self-sustainability and forged an innovative partnership with the Rockford Public Schools in 2016 to grow our construction capacity. We eventually expanded our work to include components of community building and critical home repairs, recognizing the need not only to create affordable housing opportunity but also to help maintain the affordability, safety, and livability of existing homes and neighborhoods. Now, in 2023, 35 years after our humble beginnings, Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity has completed construction on 144 new houses; we have rehabbed 29 homes; and we are serving a minimum of 8 families through homeownership opportunity and 30 families through critical home repair each year. Owners of houses built and sold by RAHFH— 173 in all— have contributed over $3,000,000 to the county in property taxes. In three-and-a-half decades, RAHFH has invested many millions of dollars and tens of thousands of hours of work into eight metro zip codes to ensure that Rockford’s low-income families have an equitable chance at safe housing and bright futures. While we are celebrating our past, we are not done growing and innovating for our future! We are working with more schools and school districts to teach construction trades, and we are exploring the use of geothermal energy and highly-energy efficient construction to close the widening energy burden gap between higher and lower income households. We are engaging more and more partners into our mission so we can get closer to our vision of a community where everyone has a safe place to live. Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity’s legacy is one that began small and grew progressively through dedicated work. Honoring where we have come from and where we are going is important to us because we recognize that three decades from now— just like three decades ago— home will be the key that opens so many other doors. To stay tuned for all of the fun ways in 2023 that you can join us to celebrate 35 years and building, follow us on Facebook (@rockfordareahfh) or visit our website at RockfordHabitat.org!
& High Heels
We are pleased to announce our upcoming 35th Anniversary Gala, titled “Hard Hats and High Heels,” which will celebrate the remarkable journey and achievements of our organization. Join us on October 14th at the elegant Radisson Hotel in Rockford, IL, for an unforgettable evening. The Hard Hats and High Heels Gala promises to be an exceptional event, bringing together our valued supporters, partners, and community members. This evening will be a celebration of the progress we have made, the lives we have touched, and the relationships we have built over the past 35 years. Stay tuned for more exciting details about the event, including ticket sales, and entertainment lineup. Save the date: October 14th at 5pm. Don’t miss this incredible celebration. The Hard Hats and High Heels Gala is an opportunity to honor our past achievements and embrace the future. We are grateful for your support and can’t wait to celebrate with you.