Over the course of Reba’s history, the need to purchase housing became evident in order to meet the needs of members and to stabilize an ethnically and economically diverse neighborhood; by the early to mid 1990’s the inaccessibility of affordable housing in Southeast Evanston was a growing concern. In 1995, Reba Place Church members invited community minded neighbors to form a broad-based not-for-profit corporation to extend the mission of affordable housing.
With over a decade of experience in directing the Overground Railroad, a Reba-based refugee resettlement ministry, David Janzen became the Executive Director of RPDC in 1996. Soon after, RPDC developed the House of Peace, a twelve-unit limited equity-housing cooperative. After forming the House of Peace, RPDC became certified House of Peace Co-operative by the City of Evanston as a Community Housing Development Organization, which qualified the organization to apply for HOME fund grants and other city housing resources. Access to these grants has enabled RPDC to develop two affordable condominiums targeted to first time homeowners, the five-unit Elmwood building and the twelve-unit Mulford Commons. RPDC also owns a twenty-seven-unit rental apartment building that provides below market units to low-income families.
Reba has developed two professional property management companies, Reba Apartments and Reunion Property Management, to maintain and improve the properties. For many years, members of Reba Place Church and Fellowship have found stable employment opportunities and the blessings of common work experiences “on the crew” of Reba Apartments. Reunion is now providing similar employment opportunities to members of Living Water Community Church and residents of their immediate neighborhood in Rogers Park.
All of these projects grow out of Reba’s commitment to God’s Kingdom and God’s desire for justice, sharing, and reconciliation. RPDC’s mission statement reflects these values.
To develop safe, decent, and affordable housing that demonstrate how the diverse racial and cultural groups in Southeast Evanston can thrive together.
To promote and cultivate a neighborly environment for those who wish to raise their families in peace.
To sponsor and support a range of affordable housing options-including modestly priced rental units, housing coops, and affordable condominiums.
In cooperation with Reba Place Church, and other participating congregations, to invite our neighbors into a transforming relationship with Jesus and an empowering experience of Christian community.