HUD Resources for Youth Leaving Foster Care
Youth aging out of the foster care system are now eligible to receive housing assistance through the FUP's new youth component. The Child Welfare League of America played a lead role in opening FUP eligibility to this group of young people. This is a vital step in linking together a continuum of safe and healthy housing options for youth leaving care.
Currently, in communities around the country, local housing authorities and child welfare agencies work in partnership to provide Section 8 vouchers to families who are at risk of having their children placed in foster care primarily because of a housing problem. Families who are unable to have their children returned from out-of-home placement due to a housing problem are also eligible FUP. FUP partnership requires local housing authority to provide housing vouchers and local child welfare agency to refer families, certify eligibility, and provide some services.
In October 2000, Congress passed legislation making youth leaving foster care eligible for housing assistance under the Family Unification Program. Specifically, youth ages 18-21 who have left foster care at age 16 or older. Much like FUP families, youth will be referred and certified as eligible by a local child welfare agency.
Although these vouchers are available through HUD's Family Unification Program, they are somewhat different. First, while FUP vouchers for families are renewed yearly, these vouchers are time-limited so that a youth can only have the voucher for 18 months. Second, the agency that refers a young person to this program will provide aftercare to each youth when they enter housing using a voucher. An array of services will be available to youth in housing to promote their successful transitions to adulthood.
In January 2002, HUD announced the latest round of FUP awards. You can view the list of awardees at www.cwla.org.
If would like more information about this program, contact your local child welfare agency or Charlene Ingram, at CWLA at 856/566-9454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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