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 243 units of conventional public housing and operates a Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) with 283 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 Brochure

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

2018 Awards

Spencer Towers Senior Pantry Program

Food insecurity and inadequate access to enough food to live a healthy lifestyle coupled with the physical difficulty associated with navigating public transportation with armloads of groceries is a barrier for many elderly and disabled individuals. The Senior Pantry Program alleviates hunger among residents 60 years and older while also eliminating the challenges associated with getting groceries home safely. The collaboration between RIHA and River Bend Foodbank, is providing real and healthy food to people whose next most affordable meal – especially at the end of the month – is fast food chains or gas stations and quick-marts.

The Spencer Towers Senior Pantry Program is a collaboration between Rock Island Housing Authority (RIHA) and the River Bend Foodbank. Funding for the program is provided by the Rock Island Community Foundation. The program is implemented with the active support of the Spencer Towers Resident Council.

RIHA Community Policing Program

The Community Policing Program is a partnership between the Rock Island Police Department (RIPD) and Rock Island Housing Authority (RIHA). RIHA Liaison Police Officers conduct regular patrols, and crime prevention and education activities; but they are more than that. Liaison Officers are known as friend, confidant, mentor, role model and hero. Officers sponsor and chaperon youth trips, bike rodeos and safety round-ups, provide pizza and popsicles, cook Christmas dinners, and grill hotdogs. They keep RIHA families and properties safe from trespassers and would-be bad guys. They build trust, and open doors for communication, and cooperation between residents, Police and Firemen and other authorities. Their hard work and dedication make them the true-blue line keeping our community safe.

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