A quality home is the foundation
of society & community

A quality home is the foundation of society & community

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Under the leadership of CEO Laura Snyder, the Rockford Housing Authority has achieved several significant accomplishments, including the creation of the Homeownership Program, the development of job training under the banner of the Life Force Development Institute leading to employment opportunities, advocacy for affordable housing policies and resources, and a focus on resident empowerment and community engagement. Ms. Snyder's leadership has been instrumental in bringing about positive change and transformation within RHA and the broader community it serves.

Rockford Housing Authority Secures $10 Million Grant to Boost Residential Health and Safety

Rockford, [September 15, 2023] – The Rockford Housing Authority (RHA) is delighted to announce that we have secured a substantial $10 million grant to bolster residential health and safety within our community. This momentous achievement signifies a pivotal step in our ongoing commitment to delivering cleaner, safer living environments for our resident families, while also catalyzing local economic growth and employment opportunities.Laura Snyder, CEO of RHA, expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “This grant is a game-changer for our community. It empowers us to address pressing health and safety concerns in public housing, ensuring that our residents have homes where they can thrive.”Administered under the Housing-Related Hazards (HRH) and Lead-Based Paint (LBP) Capital Funding program, this grant provides vital resources to public housing agencies (PHAs) like RHA. It equips us to evaluate and mitigate residential health hazards, including lead-based paint, carbon monoxide, mold, radon, fire safety, and asbestos – all of which directly impact the well-being of our residents.HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge emphasized the importance of this funding effort, stating, “American families deserve a safe and healthy place to call home. However, in many older homes, lead-based paint can be a serious threat to the health and well-being of children.” With this grant, we can identify and address homes where occupants are at risk of lead exposure and other health hazards, reinforcing our promise of a healthier, stronger community.Laura Snyder further emphasized, “We are dedicated to creating safe and healthy living environments. This grant aligns perfectly with our mission and enables us to protect families from hazards like lead exposure, fulfilling our promise of a healthier, stronger community.”Moreover, this grant goes beyond improving living conditions; it infuses a significant $10 million into our local economy. This financial boost not only supports our Section III efforts for employment but also generates long-term job opportunities, thereby fueling economic growth within our region.Laura Snyder expressed her gratitude to the RHA team, stating, “Our dedicated staff has played a pivotal role in securing this grant. Their unwavering commitment to our mission has made this achievement possible.”The Rockford Housing Authority eagerly anticipates the transformative impact of this remarkable $10 million grant on Rockford. Together, the organization and the community are creating a substantial positive change in the lives of residents and the prosperity of the local area.


The Rockford Housing Authority has undergone a significant change in strategy with the transition of the Low-Income Housing Program to Housing Choice Vouchers and the deconstruction of aging buildings. This change was made possible due to the leadership and management of the Chief Operating Officer, Laura Snyder. Due to Ms. Snyder’s leadership, the RHA team was able to create a new direction for the organization by transitioning the Low-Income Housing Program to Housing Choice Vouchers. This required a shift in organizational culture to support and sustain the new direction. Ms. Snyder was instrumental in communicating the reasons for the change and seeking input from staff and the community on how to make the transition as smooth as possible. This helped build buy-in and ownership of the new approach. One of the biggest challenges in making this change was ensuring staff had the necessary training and support to implement the new program effectively. Snyder recognized this challenge and provided ongoing support, including resident programs, to ensure staff felt confident in their roles and could help the relocation program succeed.

The relocation of RHA residents was a significant challenge that required clear communication and involvement from staff and the community. Snyder led the effort to communicate the reasons for the deconstruction and the benefits it would bring to the residents, including the elderly and vulnerable seniors who could be negatively impacted by aging buildings. She also ensured that staff had the necessary training and support to assist with the relocation of residents, making the transition as smooth as possible. Snyder’s leadership and management skills were also evident in how she celebrated successes and milestones achieved during the transition. This helped build morale and motivated staff to continue their efforts. Encouraging feedback and continuous improvement was also crucial. By listening to staff and the community’s feedback, Snyder identified areas for improvement and demonstrated her commitment to continuous improvement.


Ms. Snyder has a strong commitment to ethics and integrity developing policies and procedures to ensure that all RHA operations are conducted in an ethical and transparent manner. Due to the direction of CEO Laura Snyder, the Rockford Housing Authority has achieved several significant accomplishments in recent years. One of the most notable achievements is the new HUD designation as a Move to Work agency and the expansion of the RHA’s Family Self Sufficiency, Homeownership Program. The program provides low-income families with the opportunity to purchase their own homes and build equity, a significant step toward achieving financial stability and independence. Snyder recognized the need for such a program and led the effort to make it a reality. She worked closely with community partners and stakeholders to secure funding and resources for the program and developed policies and procedures to ensure its success.


She has been an advocate for resident empowerment and community engagement. Ms. Snyder’s Leadership Team created new partnerships with local businesses and organizations to provide job training and employment opportunities to residents. Ms. Snyder recognized that unemployment and underemployment were significant barriers to self-sufficiency and economic stability for RHA residents. She and her team worked to build partnerships with local businesses and organizations with the Jobs Plus Program to create employment opportunities for RHA residents. The program has been a great success, providing many RHA residents with the skills and experience needed to secure and maintain good-paying jobs. Ms. Snyder has also been instrumental in advocating for affordable housing policies and resources at the local, state, and federal levels. She has worked closely with elected officials and community leaders to raise awareness of the need for affordable housing and to secure funding and resources for the RHA and other affordable housing providers in the region.


Ms. Snyder has been a champion of resident safety and security. She recognized that crime and violence were significant concerns for RHA residents and worked to implement new safety and security measures. She and the RHA Leadership Team worked closely with law enforcement agencies and community partners to develop and implement a comprehensive security plan that includes increased patrols, improved lighting, and other measures to deter crime and promote safety. As a result, RHA properties have become safer and more secure, providing residents with a greater sense of peace and security.

In conclusion, the RHA’s significant change in strategy with the transition of the Low-Income Housing Program to Housing Choice Vouchers and the deconstruction of aging buildings was made possible due to the leadership and management of the Chief Executive Officer, Laura Snyder. Her focus on clear communication, involvement, training and support, transparency, celebration, feedback, continuous improvement, and responsiveness has been instrumental in creating shared understanding and support among RHA staff, residents, and the community. Ms. Snyder’s leadership provides an example of how effective leadership can bring about positive change and transformation within an organization.

Ms. Snyder’s overarching goal is to always improve the quality of life for RHA residents. Her focus on resident empowerment, community engagement, affordable housing policies and resources, rehabilitation and renovation of RHA properties, wellness programs, and safety and security measures have all contributed to the RHA’s continued success in providing safe, affordable, and sustainable housing solutions for low-income families and individuals in the Rockford area.

Laura Snyder, Chief Executive Officer

Laura Snyder, the CEO, is responsible for the financial and operational success of RHA. With over 17 years of experience with Public Housing, Laura has assisted in the development of our safety and security programs and, currently holds certifications as a Housing Choice Voucher specialist, Public Housing Manager, and Tax Credit specialist.

Laura has been a valued member of the RHA Directors and Leadership team. Formerly the Director of Housing Operations for the RHA she was responsible for leading the Housing Choice Voucher, Public Housing, and Maintenance teams to peak performance and to develop and implement initiatives to improve program integrity within HCV and Public Housing programs.

At the Rockford Housing Authority, our Ten Core Values are the foundation upon which we build everything we do. They guide us in our daily operations, decision-making, and interactions with others. We put these values at the forefront of every plan, event, and project we undertake because we care deeply about our employees, our residents, our strategic partners, and the greater Rockford community. Our Core Values enable us to operate with a shared vision and a common purpose. By embodying these values, we create a culture of excellence that permeates every aspect of our organization. We understand that our employees are the backbone of our organization, and we strive to create an environment that is respectful, collaborative, and professional. This, in turn, empowers our employees to deliver high-quality services and support to our residents. Our commitment to these values also ensures that we are accountable and transparent in our operations. We understand that we have a responsibility to our residents, our partners, and the community, and we take that responsibility seriously. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity and ethics, ensuring that we are always operating in the best interests of those we serve. Ultimately, our Core Values are what sets us apart at the Rockford Housing Authority. By living these values every day, we are able to make a positive impact on the lives of our residents and the community at large.


As the CEO of the Rockford Housing Authority, I have been committed to transforming the organization into one that is more responsive to the needs of our residents and the community. I believe that strong leadership is essential to achieving this goal, and I have worked hard to develop my own leadership skills over the years. I am committed to leading an organization that embodies our Ten Core Values: Leadership, Respectful, Quality, Accountable, Integrity, Consistent, Resourcefulness, Caring, Collaborative, and Professional.  I understand the importance of setting a clear direction for the organization and developing a strategic plan that aligns with our mission and goals. I also believe in empowering staff members and residents to take ownership of their own success.

Resourcefulness is a precept that I embrace to ensure that we make the most of our limited resources. We are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to deliver high-quality services to our residents while operating efficiently and effectively. Consistency is also important to us at RHA. We strive to be consistent in our policies, procedures, and practices to ensure fairness and equity for all residents and staff members.

Collaboration is essential to our success at RHA. We work closely with community organizations, government agencies, and other stakeholders to develop and implement solutions that benefit our residents and the broader community. I believe that one of my key strengths as a leader is my ability to see the big picture and develop a clear vision for RHA. I understand the importance of strategic planning and have identified key priorities to achieve our long-term goals. I believe that collaboration is essential to success, and I have worked hard to build strong partnerships with community organizations, government agencies, and other stakeholders.

Integrity is an axiom that is essential to me in building trust and credibility with our residents, partners, and stakeholders. I and my Leadership Team are committed to conducting all of our operations with the highest levels of honesty and transparency. Being an adaptive leader is very important to me, I am able to adjust plans and strategies as needed to respond to changing circumstances. I believe in empowering residents and staff members to take ownership of their own success and have provided training and development opportunities to help them build the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. We also prioritize Quality in everything we do at Rockford Housing Authority. We strive to provide high-quality housing and services to our residents, and we are committed to continuous improvement in all areas of our organization.

Respectful communication is another key value that I prioritize. I believe that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and I work to create a culture where open communication and feedback are valued. Transparency and ethics are also important to me as a leader. I believe in open communication and have worked to ensure that RHA operations are conducted in an ethical and transparent manner. I also believe in the importance of diversity and inclusion and have developed programs and initiatives to promote these values.

Accountability is another core tenet that we embrace at RHA. We hold ourselves accountable for delivering on our commitments and for maintaining high standards of performance. I understand the importance of connecting with others on a personal level. Caring is a core value that we all prioritize. We understand that our residents are facing challenges in their lives, and we are committed to providing them with the support and resources they need to succeed. Finally, I believe we strive to maintain a high level of Professionalism in all of our interactions and operations. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of ethical conduct and strive to be a model of professionalism for our staff members and residents.

By embodying these Ten Core Values, we are able to create a culture of excellence at RHA and work together to achieve our mission of providing safe, decent, and affordable housing for all residents, by which we will continue to build a stronger, more sustainable community in Rockford.

View the RHA Newsletter Articles From The RHA CEO, Laura Snyder