Northwestern Illinois REALTORS® made a contribution they hope will help local communities develop more housing and business commerce opportunities.

The Northwest Chapter of the Rockford Area REALTORS® joined the Blackhawk Hills Regional Council, the Jo Daviess County Housing Authority, the Northwest Illinois Economic Development, local governments and additional supporters in funding a comprehensive housing study of Jo Daviess County. The Northwest Chapter used a $2,750 grant from the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) Housing Opportunity Program (NAR) to show its support for the project.

“REALTORS® are investing in this study because we know community cooperation is essential to addressing housing needs,” said Northwest Chapter President Jackie Debes. “To strengthen our communities, REALTORS® advocate for policies that increase safe and affordable housing opportunities for all, and this report will raise awareness about the barriers that exist, how to overcome challenges and the economic benefits of housing.”

Redevelopment Resources of Madison, Wisc., will lead the study and work with local organizations, businesses, and community officials to craft recommendations that will improve outreach to developers and facilitate the additional workforce housing growth that is necessary for housing stabilization and business development in industries such as health care, manufacturing, education and hospitality for the region.

NAR offers Housing Opportunity Grants to various state and local REALTOR® associations to support a wide range of housing opportunity initiatives, including housing symposia, homebuyer education outreach activities and housing studies.

(l to r) Ed Bochniak, Executive Director Jo Daviess County Housing Authority; Emily Legel, Executive Director NW Illinois Economic Development; Daniel Payette, Executive Director Blackhawk Hills Regional Council; Northwest Chapter President Jackie Debes; and Illinois REALTORS® Local GAD Neeley Erickson.