On July 26, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a new initiative, Foster Youth to Independence (FYI), to offer housing vouchers to young people aging out of foster care and those facing homelessness. HHS reports that more than 20,000 young people age out of foster care each year and many of them will experience homelessness within four years of leaving the system.
The Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative will offer housing vouchers to local public housing authorities to help prevent homelessness among youth under the age of 25 who have left the foster care system without a stable home to stay. HUD’s Secretary Ben Carson stated: “no young person who grows up in foster care should experience homelessness once they set out on their own, the foundation of a stable life is stable housing and this initiative will allow local housing, working child welfare agencies and homeless planners, to focus this housing assistance to those young people who need it most.”
HUD’s Family Unification Program (FUP) provides two categories of services for the child welfare system, resources to prevent family separation due to homelessness and to prevent homelessness among aging-out youth. There are many barriers with youth accessing FUP and this new initiative makes available separate funding for FUP-eligible youth. This new $20 million initiative will be offering Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPVs) to youth eligible for FUP in communities that do not administer FUP.
HUD’s action comes after several Congressional hearings regarding foster youth homelessness and many members of Congress who have been engaged in this issue are applauding the new initiative including Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Representatives Don Bacon (R-NE) and Mike Turner (R-OH).
Click here to read HUD’s notice.