|HUD No. 10-022
January 29, 2010
HUD SELECTS THREE INNOVATING HOUSING AUTHORITIES TO ELITE PROGRAM TO ENHANCE FEDERAL RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
Champaign County, Illinois; Orlando, Florida; and Tacoma, Washington gain special status
WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Sandra B. Henriquez today announced
that three public housing agencies to participate in HUD's Moving To Work Program (MTW). MTW allows housing agencies to design and test innovative housing strategies that assist lower income families living in public housing
or who are assisted through HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Program.
Public housing authorities in Champaign County, Illinois; Orlando, Florida; and Tacoma, Washington will join 30 other agencies across the U.S. These three housing authorities were selected from among eight agencies that applied for MTW designation late last year and will reap the benefits this designation until 2018.
"The agencies we selected today clearly demonstrated their ability to create innovative approaches to housing and
to form private partnerships that can really build on public dollars," said Henriquez, who leads HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing. "HUD supports our housing partners to think outside of the box to improve our federal programs
to better assist low-income families."
The MTW program was created in 1996 as a demonstration or "test project" to give housing authorities the opportunity to design and test innovative, locally developed housing and self-sufficiency strategies for low income families participating in HUD's public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs. HUD exempts these agencies from certain rules and permits them to combine their multiple sources of HUD funding into a single agency-wide funding source. MTW agencies also get considerable flexibility in determining how to use their HUD funding. These agencies are, however, required to serve substantially the same number and type of households as they
would without MTW designation. The program aims to accomplish three goals:
- Reduce costs and achieve greater cost effectiveness in federal expenditures;
- Give incentives to families with children where the head of household is working, is seeking work, or is
preparing for work by participating in job training, educational programs, or programs that assist people
to obtain employment and become economically self-sufficient; and
- Increase housing choices for low-income families.
As part of HUD's 2009 budget appropriation, Congress directed HUD to add three agencies that met certain criteria
to the program. In August 2009, HUD invited eligible public housing agencies to apply for admission to the MTW program. The agencies had to be: high performing under HUD's Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS); a
recipient of a HUD HOPE VI Revitalization grant; and operate no more 5,000 aggregate housing vouchers and public housing units. HUD identified 17 potential applicants and received applications from eight housing authorities. The agencies selected received the highest scores after a ranking and rating system. Listed below is a summary of the Champaign County project:
Housing Authority of Champaign County
The Housing Authority of Champaign County (HACC) administers 443 Public Housing Units and 1,538 Housing Choice Vouchers. The percentage of extremely low income (ELI) residents in public housing is 90%. HACC plans to serve
an additional 95 families in the Public housing program and an additional 83 families through the HCV Program.
HACC has three goals for its MTW Demonstration: Streamline business processes and utilize new technologies to increase efficiency, provide incentives for families to actively seek financial independence and transition from
housing subsidy dependence and create new affordable housing opportunities for low and moderate income
HACC proposes 10 new activities with the main goal of providing incentives for families to move toward self-sufficiency. The Agency will create a Single Fund Budget, Bi-Annual Recertifications and Streamlined Inspections to reduce costs and achieve greater cost effectiveness. An individualized Mandatory Self-Sufficiency Program and Employment Requirements are planned to position residents toward achievable levels of self-sufficiency. Minimum Rents by Bedroom Size and Tiered Flat Rents will be aspects of a reasonable rent policy. A Local Homeownership Program will be established as a final goal once residents have achieved self-sufficiency. Finally, housing choice
will be expanded through a Local Project Based Assistance Program and by modifying the Definition of Elderly.