April 14, 2020
HUD Announces Funding to Assist Young People Aging Out of Foster Care
WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson announced additional funding for HUD's new Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative. In the Rocky Mountain Region, Missoula Housing Authority will receive $26,054 and the Pennington County Housing Redevelopment Commission will receive $23,496, continuing HUD's efforts to assist young adults transitioning out of foster care and who are at risk of homelessness. In January, HUD awarded nearly $500,000 to the FYI Initiative and an additional $260,000 in February.
HUD's Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative provides housing assistance and supportive services to young people with a child welfare history who are at-risk-of or experiencing homelessness. FYI, in conglomeration with local resources, will assist communities in ensuring that every young person who has had experience with the child welfare system has access to safe, affordable housing where they are supported to reach self-sufficiency by working toward their education and employment goals.
“The first ever edition of this program worked so well that further federal support for the Foster Youth to Independence initiative is on its way,” Secretary Carson said. “Since we introduced the FYI program less than a year ago, we’ve been able to help a number of young people aging out of foster care to avoid homelessness, and that’s an achievement we can all be proud of.”
“I want to congratulate our partners in Missoula and Pennington County on receiving funding for this crucial need. This funding will enable the youth of these communities to take advantage of resources that will prevent homelessness and provide tools for them to prosper in many areas of their lives,” said Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator Evelyn Lim.
These tenant-protection vouchers will go to public housing authorities that do not participate in HUD's Family Unification Program. The public housing authorities 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 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% of these young people experience homelessness within four years of leaving foster care and an even higher share are precariously housed.