FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information Contact:
Ashley Short, Executive Assistant
217-378-7100 Ext. 5028
HACC AWARDED HUD IMPLEMENTS THREE NEW MTW ACTIVITIES
Champaign, IL. September 11, 2020. The Housing Authority of Champaign County (HACC) is one of 39 Moving to Work (MTW) housing authorities in the country. This designation provides HACC the flexibility to design and test innovative, locally designed programs to better serve and house residents while simultaneously meeting the needs of the community. Therefore, HACC is excited to announce newly implemented MTW activities that will strengthen community partnerships, provide housing options for clients pursuing higher education, and offer services to prepare rental residents for homeownership.
HACC is partnering with the University of Illinois to administer an Illinois Commitment Student Voucher Program. Illinois Commitment is a financial aid package that provides scholarships and grants to cover tuition and campus fees at the University of Illinois for students who are Illinois residents age 17 to 24 and have a family income of $61,000 or less. Illinois Commitment covers tuition and campus fees for new freshmen for up to four years, eight semesters of continuous enrollment, and tuition and campus fees for up to three years, six semesters of continuous enrollment for new transfer students. However, Illinois Commitment does not cover room and board.
Therefore, the Housing Authority of Champaign County will offer Student Vouchers to members of HACC assisted households who are compliant with HACC’s MTW Local Self-Sufficiency program; have been approved for admission at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; and are receiving assistance under Illinois Commitment. The Student Voucher will cover the full cost of on-campus housing during the time the student is actively enrolled at the UIUC campus as a full-time student and maintains a passing grade point average.
HACC is also continuing to strengthen its community partnerships through the Community Improvement and Support Initiative. HACC previously owned and operated 16 Single Family Scattered Site Homes under the traditional Public Housing Program. These units were removed from the Public Housing portfolio in December 2018 through the “de minimis” authority under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program. Although two of the properties were acquired by the City of Champaign and demolished, upon working with community partners, it was determined that the remaining houses could be repurposed for use by local non-profit organizations to provide services or raise funds that benefit HACC program recipients or other low-income households in Champaign County.
As a result, two of the units are currently being used by FirstFollowers and WIN Recovery to provide reentry services through the Re-Entry Transitional Housing Program activity. One unit will serve as a rental home for Carle Foundation Hospital’s New Beginnings Program which provides supportive care and services directly to families in the program. HACC will continue to work with community organizations to identify uses for the remaining houses that directly benefit HACC program participants.
Another priority for HACC is expanding housing choices by making homeownership opportunities available to existing rental households. The Illinois Housing Development Authority Qualified Allocation Plan enables Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) units to convert to homeownership at the end of the initial 15-year compliance period. Through the Good Steward Lease Purchase Program, HACC will work with residents living in LIHTC rental properties during the initial tax credit compliance period to prepare residents for homeownership. After the end of the eight-year rental phrase, residents will have the opportunity to convert their tenancy to a lease purchase arrangement beginning in year nine. Upon determination of eligibility for the program, households will receive financial literacy and credit repair classes, homeownership counseling and training and earn Good Steward credits of $500 each calendar quarter towards the purchase of the housing unit they occupy as long as they remain compliant with all program requirements.
It is the Housing Authority of Champaign County’s primary mission to create quality living environments as a foundation for individuals to achieve their full potential, and we have a fundamental belief in “service above all else.” Through these new activities, we are able to assist our clients and the members of the community collectively. To learn more about our “Move to Work” Annual Plan, please visit our website.
Our Housing Choice Voucher program provides assistance to over 1,100 individuals and families. HACC’s housing portfolio includes 338 Rental-Assistance-Demonstration (RAD) units and 469 units of Low-income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) affordable housing.
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For more information, visit www.hacc.net, and for questions/concerns, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-378-7100 ext. 5001.