New Tenant Protection Vouchers Available for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care
HUD recently announced a new Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative that will offer housing vouchers to local public housing authorities to prevent or end homelessness among young adults under the age of 25 who are leaving, or have recently left, the foster care system without a home to go to.
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.
HUD is offering tenant-protection vouchers to certain PHAs (many located in smaller communities and rural areas) that don’t participate in HUD’s Family Unification Program (FUP). In addition, participating 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.
The FYI initiative was announced through HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing’s Notice PIH 2019-20. Congress appropriates specific funding for Housing Choice Vouchers set aside for tenant protection vouchers each year. The FY19 Appropriation Act allows funds appropriated for tenant protection vouchers to be used for FUP. Notice PIH 2019-20 states that there’s $20 million in FY19 appropriated for FUP Special Purpose Vouchers (SPVs) and that, in the competition for those funds, only 5 percent of those assisted are youth while the balance serves families. HUD is therefore launching the FYI initiative and introducing FYI tenant protection vouchers distinct from the $20 million appropriated for the FUP SPVs.