HUD: Pandemic Underscores Need for HUD’s Foster Youth Housing Program; Department Allocates New Funding to Six States

Foster Youth to Independence Initiative has now issued over $1.1 million in funding

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson today announced $100,000 in the latest installation of grants for HUD’s new Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative. Six housing authorities will receive this funding, continuing HUD’s efforts to assist young adults transitioning out of foster care and who are at risk of homelessness. FYI announcements have now totaled over $1.1 million this year.

HUD’s Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative is an initiative that 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 unprecedented pandemic we now face has shined a light on the importance of having a place to call home,” said Secretary Ben Carson. “The FYI program affords young people who are aging out of foster care with a place of their own, helping to ensure their health and safety while providing them with stability as they transition into the next chapter of their lives.”

R. Hunter Kurtz, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing added: “As we recognize Foster Youth during the month of May, PIH is proud to see the continued direct and immediate effects the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative has had on the lives of young people receiving these vouchers. A home is the foundation for their future growth and success, and I’m pleased HUD is able to support this population of young people in their development.”

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 percent of these young people experience homelessness within four years of leaving foster care and an even higher share are precariously housed. HUD’s Foster Youth Initiative housing vouchers will go to public housing authorities that do not participate in HUD’s Family Unification Program. To be eligible for FYI funding, 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 following states are receiving funding:
 

StatePublic Housing AuthorityCityAmount
KentuckyHousing Authority of LexingtonLexington, KY$46,027
WisconsinHousing Authority of Racine CountyRacine, WI$11,420
OregonHousing Authority of Clackamas CountyOregon City, OR$19,968
South DakotaPennington County Housing and Redevelopment CommissionRapid City, SD$12,153
MinnesotaDouglas County HRAAlexandria, MN$4,065
MontanaHousing Authority of BillingsBillings, MT$6,460
  Total:$100,093


In conjunction with May as National Foster Care month, the Department’s Humans of HUD campaign is highlighting the story of Adaora Onuora, who was assisted through a grant from the FYI program. No longer homeless she is now giving back to her community. Watch the inspiring #HumanofHUD profile of Adaora Onuora.

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