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SHIFT-Family Self Sufficiency Program

SHIFT is an FSS Program designed to help Head of Households enrolled as an HCV participant at the Housing Authority of Champaign County become economically self-sufficient, reach their goal of homeownership, receive individualized services, earn financial incentives, and participate in training. Participants plan short and long-term goals with their FSS Coordinator and as progress is made, goal-based financial credits will be deposited into a special savings account. Once a SHIFT participant accomplishes their final goal, the money in the account can be used toward education, transportation, or even a down payment on a home. Participants of this program may earn up to $16,000 which may be used to further advance their goals.

Eligibility

  1. Head of households who have been voucher recipients of HACC for 12 consecutive months.
  2. Head of Households who are not exempt from the Move to Work requirements. Households in which members 18 to 54 are disabled as defined by the social security administration or verified by third-party medical documentation are exempt from the Move to Work requirements and not eligible to enroll in SHIFT. Households in which members are individuals age 55 or older are exempt from the Move to Work requirements and not eligible to enroll in SHIFT.
  3. Head of households who have been employed for a consecutive period of more than 12 months, meet minimum earned income amount, and/or be enrolled in an educational institution seeking a post-secondary degree and demonstrate ongoing progress towards degree; and all household members age 5 through 17 are enrolled in an educational program applicable to their grade level.
  4. All members of the household ages 18 through 54 have been employed a consecutive period of more than 12 months, meet minimum earned income amount, and/or enrolled in an educational institution seeking a post-secondary degree and demonstrate ongoing progress towards a degree; and all household members age 5 through 17 are enrolled in an educational program applicable to their grade level.

Financial Incentives will be provided in the form of a goal-based payment system. Families will be required to meet certain benchmarks of self-sufficiency and as a result, they will earn varying cash incentives with a maximum earning potential of $16,000. To receive a credit for a milestone, the household must be in compliance with all MTW requirements for the quarter that the goal was achieved. HACC will establish an escrow account and as goals are achieved the credit will be applied to the account. The goal-based credits will only be paid upon voluntary exit from the program(s) in good standing or completion of the Contract of Participation. All credits will be forfeited for any household that is terminated from the program for cause or ports to another jurisdiction for any reason. No partial credits will be provided; no credit will be earned if any member of the household was noncompliant for any time during the 12-month calendar period. The annual credits will accrue and will only be paid upon voluntary exit from the program(s) in good standing or upon expiration of the 8-year term limit. All credits will be forfeited for any household that is terminated from the program for cause or ports to another jurisdiction for any reason.

Enrollment in the SHIFT Program offers participants opportunities suited to their specific needs and goals. Once enrolled in the SHIFT Program participants have access to a variety of one-on-one services and workshops. Some of these include case management, homeownership, credit repair, job training, leadership development, personal budget and financing, career building, and many more. SHIFT participants can work with HACC community partners to provide specialized services that HACC may not be able to offer. HACC continues to develop and innovate specialized services suited to SHIFT participants’ needs in collaboration with community partners.

To successfully complete the SHIFT Program, participants must meet the following criteria:

  1. The head of household has obtained suitable employment and met the minimum annual earned income for compliance. Suitable employment is defined as working full time for at least 12 months.
  2. All members of the household have been independent of welfare for at least twelve consecutive months. Welfare is defined as assistance from federal or state welfare programs. It does not include social security, child support payments, Medicaid or similar benefits.
  3. Activities listed on the Individual Training and Service Plan must be completed within the designated timeframe.
  4. The household is in full compliance with the lease, including no monies owed for repayment agreements to HACC or landlords.

Enrollment

If you are interested in enrolling or have questions regarding your eligibility for the SHIFT Program, please contact:

James Zielinski

jamesz@hacc.net

217.378.7113 ext. 5061

Mark Dotson

markd@hacc.net

217.378.7113 ext. 5022