On January 24, 2022, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published it’s notice of Implementation of the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities (FSHO) Amendments in the Federal Register.

FSHO, signed by the President on December 27, 2020, made changes to the assistance provided to youth eligible for the Family Unification Program (FUP). FUP provides housing vouchers to eligible youth between ages 18-24 who have left foster care, or will leave foster care within 90 days, and are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless at age 16 or older. This assistance is time-limited for 36 months.

The newly enacted FSHO provides an extension of the assistance provided to eligible youth for up to 2 years beyond the 36-month time limit if the youth is participating in a Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program and for youth who are unable to enroll in an FSS program who engaged in education, workforce development, or employment activities for at least 9 months of the 12-month period preceding the extension. FSHO also provides an extension for youth with a child under the age of 6; is regularly and actively participating in a drug addiction or alcohol treatment and rehabilitation program; or is incapable of complying with the requirements due to a documented medical condition.

This legislation expands access to housing for youth exiting foster care for up to 5 years total, regardless of where in the country they live. It also requires coordination between Public Housing Authorities and public Child Welfare Agencies to determine eligibility and includes data collection and monitoring.  HUD is accepting public comments on the notice.