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ROCK ISLAND — The numbers speak volumes.

Rock Island isn’t just celebrating its 20th year of single-family programs, but also the extensive work and success of the Economic Growth Corporation. An open house is planned 4-6 p.m. Thursday at the Economic Growth Corp.’s Housing and Financial Education Center, 114 19th St., Rock Island, to celebrate the success.

In 1998, the Economic Growth Corporation, known as GROWTH, introduced its first housing program. As it looks back, organizers are celebrating its noteworthy accomplishments:

  • 736 families fulfilling the American dream of owning their own home.
  • 119 families’ existing homes improved so they have a safe place to live.
  • 1,697 people successfully completing its homebuyer education course.
  • Accessing $14.85 million in grants and assistance to help homebuyers.
  • Helping to facilitate $65.5 million in home sales and $53.18 million in financing.
  • A new housing and financial education center in downtown Rock Island offering homebuyer education, pre-purchase counseling, budgeting, foreclosure prevention counseling and financial goal setting.

The significance of it all is not lost on Brian Hollenback, president and CEO of the Economic Growth Corp., who was there from the outset.

“What it does is, being a community based non-profit, it clearly demonstrates what strong leadership we have through our board, the public-private partnership with the city of Rock Island and our commitment to our residents of Rock Island in doing what we can to help stabilize and grow our population base as well as make significant investments into our neighborhoods,” Hollenback said.

The stats are important, he agrees. But the most important result may be what they teamed up to do.

“The most impressive component is all the comprehensive statistics together as an asset-based effort,” he said. “While each individual statistic is very impressive, they are all linked together.”

The financial education component can’t be overlooked, he said. Nor can the value of what it brings to Rock Island.

“Collectively, all of this investment, is used to increase the property real estate tax base as well,” he said.

Thursday’s open house will include tours of the center and a chance for people to meet with staff, financial institutions, area REALTORS and community based organizations that may provide home ownership tools.

Free credit reports and reviews also will be available. Raffle prizes, music, cake and refreshments also will be offered.

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