Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $24.4 million to public housing authorities nationwide through the Family Unification Program (FUP). This funding will make more than 1,900 vouchers available for families who are unable to secure affordable housing for their children or dependents, and former foster youth at risk of homelessness.
Housing authorities will work closely with local public welfare agencies to identify former foster youth at risk of facing homelessness and families whose lack of adequate housing is the primary reason their children are in foster care.
“At HUD, we’re committed to ensuring every family has access to safe and affordable housing, said Hunter Kurtz, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing. “The funding awarded today gives children an opportunity to live and thrive with their parents.”
Additionally, this funding can be used to help provide stable housing for young adults (ages 18-24) who have aged-out of the foster care system and at risk of homelessness. These vouchers will allow families to rent housing from a private landlord and generally pay 30 percent of their monthly adjusted gross income towards rent and utilities.
According to the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare (NCHCW), an affordable housing and child welfare advocacy group, keeping children in foster care is an expensive alternative to affordable housing. On average, it costs more than $48,000 annually per family when children enter foster care. By contrast, housing and services to keep a family together costs approximately $15,000 annually per family. Supportive services for FUP families and youth are provided by agencies funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A $20 million investment in FUP vouchers saves more than $134 million in foster care costs.