We have made great strides in improving our neighborhoods. In fact, in 2017, our property values were $1.4 billion. Today, due in part to our efforts, they have increased to $1.9 billion.

  • Neighborhood Improvement Initiative – This project focused on six neighborhoods that had been most negatively affected by crime. One neighborhood at a time, a team of employees and representatives from community partners brought resources directly to that neighborhood and our residents’ doorsteps. At the same time, we improved the overall environment of each neighborhood, including sidewalks, streetlights and even community art.  
  • Infrastructure Improvements – We implemented the largest Capital Improvement Plan in our City’s history, which included resurfacing or reconstructing more than 200 neighborhood streets in 2022, as well as for the next four years.
  • Lead Line Replacement - We received $4 million in forgivable funding from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to replace more than 960 lead service lines within our distribution system, reducing the financial burden and exposure to residents. 
  • Mentorship Program- We partnered with LT Construction, a local minority-owned concrete construction contractor, to provide mentorship, experience and workforce development skills to young adults that represented at-risk and underserved populations of our community through an internship. That sidewalk work helped to close gaps in our community by connecting people to schools, parks and other multi-use paths. After the summer internship, all of the interns were accepted into union apprenticeship programs. 
  • NIU Scholarships – We continued our support of the Rockford Promise NIU Scholarship Program. Under this program, students who live in Rockford, attend Rockford Public Schools and earn a 3.0 GPA, can attend Northern Illinois University tuition and general fee free. Now in its second year, more than 205 students are taking advantage of the program. Of these participants, 70 percent are students of color and 70 percent are first generation college students. This program is extremely beneficial to our students and increases our property values.
  • Critical Home Repair Program – We partnered with Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity and Rockford Housing Development Corporation to offer a home repair program to low and moderate income families. We know that for most Rockfordians their largest investment is their home, and we wanted to help those who were struggling to make critical repairs to maintain the integrity, safety and quality of their homes. 
  • Emerson Estates – An unfinished subdivision near Auburn High School is being reimagined thanks to a partnership between the City, Region 1 Planning Council, Habitat for Humanity and Rockford Public Schools. Twenty-five tax delinquent vacant lots will be converted into tax-paying, single family homes for working-class families. The homes - built in large part by Rockford Public Schools construction trade students - will create new, safe, affordable housing, which is a critical need in our community.
  • Community Development Financial Institution – We partnered with Rockford Local Development Corporation and Northern Illinois Community Development Corporation to create a CDFI to provide financial products and services to provide economic opportunity in low and moderate income communities. To date, this venture has helped more than 70 blighted and/or foreclosed homes become renovated, single family occupied homes, which increases our property values and strengthens our neighborhoods. 
  • Forward for Fun - We launched the Forward for Fun Initiative, which allocated money in each ward to create new, free events. After two years of a pandemic, which isolated many people in our community and across the globe, the goal of the initiative was to bring together residents for new, fun events while supporting local small businesses and entrepreneurs. It was a huge success with our residents.
  • Flat Tax Levy – We, once again, passed a balanced budget that did not increase your property taxes.  For the last five years, we have kept our levy flat and kept $72 million in the pockets of our tax payers, where it belongs.