Housing Authority of Champaign County


Brief History

Since 2020, the Housing Authority of Champaign County (HACC) has delivered the YouthBuild program for 84 youth ages 16-24 who have dropped out of high school and who are interested in pursuing careers in the trades. Participants of our YouthBuild program include those who have been incarcerated, who have a disability, who are migrants, who are in the foster system, who experience homelessness, and who are food insecure. These students are afforded an opportunity to receive a high-school diploma and certification in their trade of choice. Youth undertake a rigorous curriculum centered around the three pillars of construction, education, and leadership training. The program provides six months of classroom instruction, followed by a 12-month follow-up period where supportive services are provided to prepare them for further education or employment. While there are many YouthBuild programs throughout the United States and beyond, ours is one of the few that is managed by a Public Housing Authority. By offering this program through HACC, we have ready access to eligible young people and are able to address participants’ housing needs by offering them housing vouchers. In addition, program participants gain hands-on training by assisting with repairs and enhancements to our affordable housing stock. The YouthBuild program supports our mission to create and maintain quality affordable living environments and to help individuals achieve their fullest potential.

Mission Statement and/or Core Values

#building brighter futures

Student Demographics

  • Male: 32
  • Female:36
  • Low Income: 68
  • HS Dropout: 65
  • Youth Offender: 5
  • Basic Skills Deficient: 58
  • Not Employed at Program Enrollment: 68
  • Job placements following program completion: 21


44 high school diploma graduates 946 total earned credits 3.2 cumulative program grade point average 68/84 students serviced through the YouthBuild grant 4/4 Transition to Independence Program housing placements 1/1 Family Support Program housing placements 4/5 YouthBuild housing voucher placements 5/5 Bright Futures Internship Program placements 3 YouthBuild alumni employment placements within HACC

Programs Offered

  • Transition to Independence Program
  • Family Support Program
  • YouthBuild Housing Choice Voucher Program
  • Bright Futures Internship Program

Career Pathways

  • Construction  
  • Information Technology 
  • Healthcare 
  • Home Health Aide 
  • Hotel & Restaurant Management 
  • Trade 

Success Story

“I have had the unique experience of being a part of the Housing Authority of Champaign County’s YouthBuild program, and the cool standing of originating from our program’s very first cohort that started on June 1st, 2020. Despite being a recent high school graduate, I experienced a lot of difficulty finding stable and sustainable employment so that I could provide for my children. I have also faced legal troubles in my past which also prevented me from employment and education opportunities. Through YouthBuild I was able to gain career certifications, mentorship, and life experiences which have expanded opportunities for me both personally and professionally. Through the YouthBuild program I have received the following credentials: OSHA 10, Flaggers, NCCER, and Nail Tech Certification. I was also hired to participate in the Housing Authority’s bright futures internship program which offers young people like myself entry level career opportunities in the housing industry. Today, I am proud to report that I will celebrate my 1-year anniversary as a full-time employee of the Housing Authority on April 5th, 2022. In addition to that I am also in college working on completing a bachelor’s degree in business administration. None of this would be possible without the support and guidance I have received from the YouthBuild program.“ – Tashanee Turner, Alumni student and HACC Receptionist


  • Executive Director: Lily Walton
  • Program Director: Shevone Myrick