Who We Are

Rock Island Housing Authority. Then, Now & Into the Future

Historically Speaking: On October 26, 1939, a meeting was called to organize, elect officers and establish the by-laws of the Housing Authority of the City of Rock Island, Illinois. Subsequent to these items being enacted on May 7, 1940, a resolution was passed authorizing an application for funding a housing project. On September 17, 1940, the plans and specifications were approved and construction of the first public housing project in the City of Rock Island, came into being.

Turn of the Century: By 2000, RIHA owned and managed 550 units of conventional low-income public housing. It also operated a Housing Choice Voucher Program with 167 units of subsidized Section 8 housing. In total, it provided homes for seven hundred families – nearly 1,200 persons.

The Dawn of a NEW Era: In 2003 RIHA developed a plan backed by definitive goals and measurable outcomes to completely redefine and reinvent public housing within the city of Rock Island. The RIHA Asset Management Plan clearly defined how the Agency intended to shift the organization’s vision, mission, purpose, policies, processes and philosophy toward the development of affordable mixed-income housing that included households with varying incomes while also providing quality housing options for the City’s most vulnerable residents.

The Future is NOW: In accordance with its Asset Management Plan, RIHA has demolished 163 - units of obsolete public housing since 2004. Between 2004 and 2015, RIHA and its non-profit affiliate, Community Housing Services (CHS), have constructed 186 units of new mixed-income for sale and rental homes and invested over $47 million in new construction and development within the City of Rock Island. RIHA/CHS housing has been constructed to create neighborhoods of choice, improving our sense of place and our sense of pride allowing us to restore hope and equal opportunities for all of our residents.

The Agency Today: RIHA owns and manages 384 units of conventional public housing and operates a Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) with 285 units of subsidized Section 8 housing. The Agency also operates a Rental Housing Support Program (RHSP) funded through the Illinois Housing Development Association (IHDA). In total, RIHA provides homes for over 700 families – nearly 1,700 citizens living in the City of Rock Island.

RIHA is an independent, not-for-profit agency that receives most of its funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

  RIHA Administrative Plan for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

  RIHA Admissions & Continued Occupancy Policy for Low-Income Public Housing

Who We Serve

The Diverse Population of the City of Rock Island

Since 1939, Rock Island Housing Authority (RIHA) has provided rental assistance to families who pay no more than 30% of their income toward rent and utilities. Residents include seniors on a fixed-income, persons with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, military veterans and low-income wage workers and families. In more recent years, this population also includes refugees from more than 30 countries around the world.

Housing Matters: Regardless of income, most families have the same concerns – security, employment, getting the best possible education for their kids, and wanting a safe, decent place to live. As an organization and as a member of the Rock Island community, RIHA strives to make Rock Island a better, healthier place for all people to live.

Mission, Vision, Goals & Principles


RIHA is committed to pursuing new and creative ways to meet the changing housing needs of the diverse population of Rock Island, Illinois.


RIHA is committed to building new communities based on transition and hope. The creation of affordable housing that is indistinguishable from market-rate housing in the surrounding area allows the Agency to improve the quality of affordable housing in Rock Island by providing more choices for current and future residents.

Strategic Goals

  • Achieve and Maintain Operational Excellence
  • Ensure Long-Term Financial Viability
  • Implement Asset Management Plan
  • Maintain a Positive Public Image

Guiding Principles

  • Meet the housing needs of low- and very low-income families and individuals
  • Provide residents with more choices and more control over where they live
  • Expand the housing market to meet the needs of current and future RIHA residents
  • Promote neighborhood revitalization throughout the City of Rock Island
  • Transition RIHA residents to economic independence and housing self-sufficiency

2016 Awards

Lynden Lane

The demolition and redevelopment of Manor Homes transformed a 60-year old, obsolete, barrack-style public housing complex into a subdivision including 55 mixed-income affordable single-family homes and duplexes for rent. Each home faces the street, has a driveway, attached garage, patio, front porch, landscaped yards and numerous amenities typically found in market-rate units. The development features new city streets, street lights, sidewalks and new water, sewer, gas and electric lines. The demolition and redevelopment of Manor Homes was part of the RIHA 2003 and 2008 Asset Management Plans to redefine Public Housing within the City.

3rd & 11th Townhomes

The 3rd & 11th Townhomes are located in Rock Island’s Old Chicago neighborhood. The seven new townhomes replaced one eight-unit building at Lincoln Homes which was deemed uninhabitable and demolished. Built on a separate site, the two-story structure blends into the neighborhood and includes high-pitched roofs, dormers, intersecting eaves, and exteriors constructed of brick and siding. The interiors are open and airy with large windows. The development of the townhomes is part of the RIHA Homebuyer Incentive Program for residents and is included in the Agency’s Asset Management Plan to redefine Public Housing within the City.

For additional information, please call 309.788.0825 or e-mail Housing@riha4rent.org.