Local Information

The housing authority was officially organized on March 20, 1946 to provide housing for veterans when they returned home from serving their country in World War II. The first housing project was called "Veteran's Housing Project". This project funded the building of a number of new homes in Sterling and Rock Falls, Illinois and upon completion they were sold to veterans.

The housing authority officially made an amendment to change the name of the authority to Whiteside County Housing Authority on February 3, 1948.

The Whiteside County Housing Authority built and manages three public housing developments: Coloma Homes (family, elderly/handicapped/disabled)125 units (built in 1952), located at 400-700 West 18th Street, Rock Falls, Illinois. Then Garden Homes 40 elderly units (built in 1965) located at W. 7th Street, Rock Falls, Illinois. Then Civic Plaza I which has 100 elderly units (built in 1967) located at 1101 5th Avenue, Rock Falls, Illinois.

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In September, 1969 Whiteside County Dwellings Upgrade Association was incorporated. Then December 1st, the Whiteside County Dwellings Upgrade Association, Incorporated built a middle income 221(d)3 not-for-profit project with 27 units, located at the corner of Highway 30 and Ninth Avenue, Rock Falls, Illinois.

Then in 1978 the housing authority received approval for their first allocation of Section 8 Existing certificates. Then the housing authority applied for more certificates and later on, for what used to be called Section 8 vouchers. Those two programs have now been combined into the Housing Choice Voucher program. The Whiteside County Housing Authority now administers 285 of vouchers.

During the 1980'S Whiteside County Housing Authority assisted two private developers in obtaining the financing for two section 8 New Construction developments. Those two projects have their own management companies.  However, Whiteside County Housing Authority is the contract administrator for both of them. As the contract administrator, it is the housing authority's responsibility to take over the roles normally assumed by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

In 1998 a private developer expressed an interest in contracting with Whiteside County Housing Authority to manage a tax credit/HOME project with 60 units for family/elderly handicapped-disabled. This project has 60 units and is located at 215 East 25th Street, in Sterling, Illinois.

In November,2002 the Whiteside County Dwellings Upgrade, Inc. (a not-for-profit) began managing the rental of 15 new homes, for a private developer. There are three styles: ranch, split-level and two-story. All of the homes have two car garages and all of the homes, except the ranch-style have exterior decks. The houses are Tax Credit/Trust Fund financed.

PUBLIC HOUSING: is owned and managed by the Whiteside County Housing Authority. A family generally pays 30% of their adjusted income for rent. The rent that is received is not adequate to operate and maintain the public housing. So the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development executes what is called an "Annual Contributions Contract" with the housing authority, to provide an operating subsidy to assist in covering the utilities.

SECTION 8 NEW CONSTRUCTION: this program is used by private developers who obtain financing and agree to build housing that will be subsidized upon completion, for a specified number of years. The subsidy is in the form of a Housing Assistance Payments contract. The contract states that for every eligible tenant in the building, within an agreed-to maximum, HUD will provide a subsidy. The subsidy is the difference between the rent the tenant pays (which is determined by a formula) and the rent HUD determines is appropriate.

TAX CREDITS: The tax credit program or LIHTC was created from the Tax Reform Act of 1986, as an alternate method for funding housing for low to moderate-income households. The tax credits are issued by the IRS to the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). The tax credits are determined by the development costs of the development. Then IHDA screens any proposed housing projects and determines which developer will be awarded the tax credits. The tax credits then pass to the syndicator, who gets the financing from investors, to whom the syndicator passes the tax credits to.

SECTION 8 HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM: This program is different in that the participants seek housing out in the private rental market. The voucher that the Whiteside County Housing Authority gives to a participant is their official documentation that Whiteside County Housing Authority will enter into a contract with a rental housing provider to pay a rental subsidy on behalf of the participant.

When a tenant locates a suitable unit that the landlord agrees to rent to the tenant, a Section 8 inspector must inspect the unit. During the inspection, the inspector will negotiate the amount of the rent with the landlord. If the unit passes, leases and contracts are prepared for endorsements. The monthly housing assistance payments begin after housing authority receives the signed lease and contract.

The lease and contract is subject to renewal effective upon each anniversary. At this time, adjustments in the terms may be negotiated as a result of business and economic factors, and rent shares may be re-apportioned as a result of business and economic factors, and rent.

At this time, adjustments in the terms may be negotiated as a result of business and economic factors, and rental amounts me be re-apportioned as a result of changes to the tenant's income and/or amount of the contract rent. Whiteside County Housing Authority inspects each of the units annually, and each unit must pass the inspection to be eligible for renewal of the rental subsidy payments.

The Whiteside County Housing Authority does a criminal background check on all Section 8 applicants. An applicant who has a drug related criminal history or a violent criminal history may be denied admission to the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.

The Landlord must also screen their prospective tenants. The screening should include verification of present and past landlord references, credit checks, visit to the applicant's current unit. The Whiteside County Housing Authority is not the landlord, and is not a party to the lease agreement between the landlord and the tenant. The Whiteside County Housing Authority is the administrator of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.

The housing authority maintains a list of Section 8 rental units/landlords in this area that an applicant can obtain upon request.



401 West 18th Street
Rock Falls, IL  61071-2998
Phone: 815-625-0581

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