During the 1960s, Oak Park, IL studied the troubling social changes taking place east of Austin Boulevard and made a concerted effort to bring about an effective approach to integration that would break the pattern of block-by-block racial change. Leaders and residents realized that an agency was needed to guide the development of a stable, integrated community.

Founded in 1972, the Oak Park Regional Housing Center (OPRHC) answered that need by working to counteract steering and to promote pro-integrative choices through affirmative marketing. We have a long history working with the Village of Oak Park and other local agencies to coordinate a multi-faceted effort to sustain community integration.

Because one-third of renters move every year, OPRHC is integral in maintaining a racially balanced rental market. On average, we provide information and referrals to 6,000 apartment seekers each year. Our Live in Oak Park website offers a wealth of information about Oak Park’s unique and diverse community.  In addition, we recognize the value of diverse homeownership within our communities and actively promote this important investment through our West Cook Homeownership program.

Our free services are also offered to housing providers, supporting and encouraging affirmative marketing, compliance with fair housing laws, and understanding of basic property management.

Impacting Communities

Our work is based on the idea that housing is the fundamental structure of opportunity. Fair housing drives diverse schools, social networks, encourages citizen participation, and enables access to employment, transportation, health services, childcare, and other local resources. OPRHC directly impacts the region by:

  • Expanding housing options for people of all races with education, counseling and resources
  • Assisting building owners to keep properties attractive and marketable
  • Ensuring strong demand for Oak Park housing by marketing to home seekers throughout the region
  • Offering free rental services to an average 6,000 apartment seekers annually, supporting racial diversity and integration
  • Acting as a model and resource for other communities striving to achieve racial integration
  • Sharing our research into fair housing policies with other municipalities
  • Creating a universal “best practices” guide that outlines the benefits of an inclusive, integrated community


To achieve vibrant communities and promote intentional and stable residential integration throughout Oak Park and the region.


We envision a diverse Greater Westside of vibrant, sustainably integrated communities.