On Tuesday, October 6, HUD’s Secretary Ben Carson issued a notice expanding the Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) program to reach more youth aging out of foster care. The FYI program is an initiative of HUD that expanded and enhanced the existing Family Unification Program (FUP) to reach more youth leaving foster care. Both FUP and FYI provide housing vouchers for young people aging out of foster care and pairs the voucher with services from or arranged by the child welfare agency.
The notice lifts restrictions that prevented some Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) from being able to apply for the FYI program, specifically PHAs that currently had FUP vouchers. Now, all Public Housing Authorities across the country that manage Housing Choice Voucher programs, which is most PHA, are eligible to apply for FYI vouchers for youth aging out of foster care! In addition, PHAs can potentially request up to 50 FYI vouchers per year. What remains the same about the FYI program is a streamlined process to apply for vouchers, which is an email to HUD that includes, among other things, a description of the collaboration between the PHA and the child welfare agency. The process for PHAs to apply is truly simple and unlike most applications for funding. To access HUD’s notice, click here.