Listen to this article

CHAMPAIGN — The Housing Authority of Champaign County has been awarded a $72,000 federal grant to help people participating in the agency’s Housing Choice Voucher program become more self-sufficient.

In traditional self-sufficiency programs, participants sign a five-year contract requiring the head of the household to get a job and agree that no member of the household will receive certain types of public assistance after the five-year period ends, according to the housing authority.

Participating families also have an interest-bearing escrow account set up for them, and the amount credited to the account is based on increases in the family income during the contract term. Families who successfully complete the program get the money in their accounts.

The grant money was awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.