HUD Awards $1.5M to PHAs for Young People Aging Out of Foster Care
HUD recently awarded $1.5 million to nearly a dozen housing authorities to assist young people aging out of foster care and who are at risk of experiencing homelessness. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that more than 20,000 young people age out of foster care each year. The National Center for Housing and Child Welfare (NCHCW) estimates that approximately 25 percent of these young people experience homelessness within four years of leaving foster care and an even higher share are precariously housed.
Funded through HUD’s new Foster Youth to Independence Initiative (FYI), housing vouchers will be offered to local PHAs to prevent or end homelessness among young adults under the age of 25 who are, or have recently left, the foster care system without a home to go to.
FYI requires that communities provide supportive services for the length of assistance to help youth achieve self-sufficiency. These activities center around basic life skills, landlord outreach, and job preparation. Additionally, they will receive educational and career counseling as well as counseling on program and lease compliance. This is critical given that the assistance is time limited.
These tenant-protection vouchers will go to PHAs that don’t participate in HUD’s Family Unification program. The PHAs must administer a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program; enter into a partnership agreement with a Public Child Welfare Agency (PCWA); accept young people referred by their partnering PCWA; and determine that the referred youth are eligible for HCV assistance.