Housing Project Could Soon Be Razed

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Lisa Fields has family in Jane Addams, and when she heard city leaders and the Rockford Housing Authority want to demolish the troubled housing project, she was thrilled.

"Oh it will be a lot better. It will make it a lot easier for kids to grow up and feel safer as they get older and not learn so many things that are out in this area," Fields said.

Nearby resident Becky Lichty strongly agrees. For years, Lichty and her neighborhood watch group worked with Jane Addams residents to clean up the crime and drugs. However, she believes dispersing Jane Addams housing will disperse problems, and give residents fresh hope.

"Of course it's upsetting to think of 84 units having to go to different homes, but I think it will give them a new lease on life," Lichty said.

Lichty argues that transforming decaying housing units into fresh green space will revitalize the Morgan Street and College Avenue area, and resurrect its previous prestige.

"It will hopefully lead to less crime because people are afraid to come into an area that's crime ridden, and it will continue revitalization and continue what's going on at Hayd Village," Lichty said.

And although dozens of families will be uprooted, those close to Jane Addams believe a new destination will provide residents a new inspiration.

"I think it will give the people who have goals to actually own their own home. It will help them succeed in that area," Fields said.