Mandatory LSS Program
Description - Participation in a self-sufficiency program is a condition of eligibility for new admissions and a condition of continued occupancy for existing residents and participants. All abled bodied individuals ages 18 through 54 are required to actively pursue activities to achieve economic self-sufficiency. The head of the household is required to develop a self-sufficiency plan that identifies goals and objectives for each household member required to participate in the Mandatory LSS Program and is held accountable for progress of all household members.
LSS Requirement - As of January 1, 2016, all non-exempt household members are required to be employed 25 hours or more per week or be enrolled on a full-time basis (as defined by the institution) in an educational program that offers a degree or certificate. Household members enrolled in an educational program must demonstrate successful progress towards the degree or certificate. Progress shall be defined as successfully completing 75% of all required course work on an annual basis.
New Admissions - For new Admissions, one non-exempt adult member of the household must have been employed for the six-month consecutive period prior to admission. Additionally, new admissions from areas outside of Champaign County, including port-ins, must provide a written job offer at the time of admission and must commence employment within 60 days from the date of issuance of the HACC MTW voucher.
Rent Changes - If a household member is compliant with the employment requirements and subsequently experiences loss of employment they shall be granted a 90-day waiver for the employment requirement. No rent change will be processed during the 90-day waiver period. Failure of a household member to re-secure employment within the 90 days shall be grounds for termination of housing assistance. Upon securing new employment, a rent change shall be processed to reflect the new employment wages. Only one waiver period shall be permitted within each calendar year.
If loss of employment is through no fault of the individual (lay-off, company closure, etc) an extension of a second 90-day waiver may be granted provided the individual can demonstrate that they are actively searching for new employment. In these circumstances, a rent adjustment will be processed as applicable. Failure to secure new employment after a second day waiver period shall be grounds for termination of housing assistance.
Self-Employment - Individuals who are self-employed including child care home providers must have a total annual gross income equivalent to the applicable State of Illinois minimum wage times 1,300 hours to be considered in compliance with the employment requirements under the LSS Program. Copies of income tax forms filed with the IRS must be provided to claim self-employment; no other documentation shall be acceptable.
Term Limit – Effective January 1, 2016, non-exempt households shall be limited to a maximum housing assistance term not to exceed eight years. The following provisions shall apply.
- The eight-year term shall commence at the first annual recertification that occurs after January 1, 2016.
- All households must comply with all requirements of the LSS Program at all times while receiving housing assistance. Failure to do so will result in termination of housing assistance prior to the maximum term.
- Households whose annual income exceeds 80% of the Champaign County median income at the time of annual recertification shall no longer be eligible for housing assistance. Housing assistance will cease at the end of 60 days from the effective date of the annual recertification.
- If a non-exempt household member becomes exempt while receiving housing assistance the term limits shall no longer apply. If a household previously received housing assistance for a maximum time period but later becomes exempt, they may re-apply for housing assistance and the term limits shall no longer apply.
- Households may not designate an alternate head of household for the purpose of extending term limits. All adult household members shall be subject to the applicable term limit for the household.
Update on Status of Activity – This activity is fully implemented and will be ongoing with modifications described below.
Changes or Modifications – This activity was modified as described above in the 2016 Plan. In 2018, HACC will modify this activity as follows:
- A financial incentive will be provided for households who remain fully compliant with the LSS Program during an applicable calendar year. These households will earn $2,000 if they remain fully compliant from January 1 through December 31 of each year. No partial credits will be provided; no credit will be earned if any member of the household was non-compliant 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.
- Individuals who lose employment more than once, for any reason other than a reduction in force, shall be required to enroll, attend and complete a job retention program as directed by their LSS Case Manager.
- School requirements for dependents ages 5 through 18 shall be eliminated as the school district will not provide documentation to HACC regarding attendance.
For New Admissions the following has been updated with Year 9 MTW Plan:
- New Admissions households including households porting from another jurisdiction will be provided six months from the date of the initial lease up in Champaign County to become compliant with LSS requirements.
- If a New Admission household is not compliant with LSS requirements prior to submission of a Request for Tenancy Approval, they must meet with an LSS Case Worker and develop and LSS Plan. HACC will not approve a RFTA until the household has developed a plan and executed the LSS Contract.