The Family Self-Sufficiency Program is a voluntary program established by HUD to promote economic self-sufficiency among RHA participating families. Family Self-Sufficiency Specialists assist you in developing a Service Plan that outlines your goals for the next five years. Emphasis is on full-time employment, credit readiness, and independence from public assistance.

1. What is the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program?

Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) is a program to assist your family in achieving economic independence, Self-Sufficiency, and freedom from dependence on various governmental assistance programs. We do this by connecting your family to employment opportunities, social & economic resources to affect positive changes in your family’s life, which leads to this independence.

  1. Who is eligible to participate in FSS?

All current RHA families are eligible to participate. The head of the household and/or family members 18 or older are eligible.

  1. What types of services will be provided in conjunction with FSS?

The services that may be provided include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Adult Education (includes GED)
  • Workshops in financial empowerment, job readiness courses, entrepreneurship
  • Home buying workshops and counseling
  • Other services necessary to help your family become self-sufficient
  1. What will be my obligation if I choose to participate in FSS?

Each participating family or family member will sign a Contract of Participation (COP). Also, each family member participating will complete an Individual Training and Service Plan (ITSP). The ITSP spells out the services to be provided, and the obligations the families or family member agrees to undertake.

  1. What is an Escrow Savings Account, and how does it benefit FSS families?

The escrow account offers your family or family member the opportunity to save for the future. During the term of the Contract of Participation, the Rockford Housing Authority will establish an interest-bearing escrow account for the FSS family. Whenever there is a rent increase due to the earned income of your family members, your family will pay their portion toward the contract rent and the housing authority will deposit part or the same amount to your family’s escrow account. Families or family members who leave the FSS Program without completing the Contract of Participation (COP) will forfeit their escrow account. Monies received from escrow accounts may be used in various ways, i.e., down payment on a home, car, college tuition, etc.

  1. What happens if I lose my job?

Your escrow stops until you find another job.  It will remain “frozen” until then.

  1. What happens to the escrow if I quit the FSS program or don’t complete the contract?

Remember, this isn’t your money until you complete the program.  If you quit or don’t complete the program, the money is forfeited and lost to you and your family.

  1. How do I sign-up, or who should I contact for information about FSS?

You can go online to and fill out the application & assessment under the FSS Program, and press the submit tab when finished.  After submitting online, someone will contact you.

You can always reach out to the FSS Specialist:

Ms. Laura Martinez: 815-489-8711 or 815-708-1751/

Mr. Elias Soria:  815-489-8579 or 815-378-3686/