About us

About Us: The Oak Park Regional Housing Center (OPRHC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1972 offering free services to housing seekers and housing providers. Our primary service area is Western Cook County but our services are available to people throughout the Chicago region. No matter where you want to live, the OPRHC will assist you in your search.

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 Oak Park and the region in the following areas:

  • Expanded housing options for people of all races
  • Assisting building owners to keep properties attractive and marketable
  • Ensuring strong demand for Oak Park housing by marketing to home seekers around throughout the region
  • Providing free rental service to more than 2,000 apartment seekers annually, supporting racial diversity and integration
  • The Housing Center is a model and resource for other communities striving to achieve racial integration

During the 1960s, Oak Park studied every aspect of 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, the Oak Park Regional Housing Center, was needed to guide the development of a stable, integrated community. Because one-third of renters move every year, OPRHC is still necessary to sustain an integrated housing market.

OPRHC works to counteract steering and to promote pro-integrative choices through affirmative marketing. We market Oak Park as a community for all races, attracting people who respond to and strengthen that kind of climate. Oak Park’s aspirations have evolved to promote a welcome and inclusive community for African American, Asian, Latino, and White households. OPRHC promotes Oak Park as open to all and educates minority home seekers on their fair housing rights.

We work with the Village of Oak Park and other local agencies to coordinate a multi-faceted effort to promote and sustain the community’s integration.  More recently,  OPRHC has launched a targeted effort to research fair housing policy, share our findings with other municipalities, and create a universal, “best practices” guide, so they too can experience the benefits of an inclusive, integrated community.

We provide:

  • Apartment Referrals
  • Technical Assistance to Property Owners and Managers
  • Fair Housing Training and Education
  • Fair Housing Research and Advocacy
  • Homeownership Counseling
  • Credit Counseling

The primary programs of the Housing Center include the West Cook Homeownership Center, which provides homeownership and credit counseling; and our Live In Oak Park apartment referral service, which can be accessed through the Live in Oak Park website.

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

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