WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson this week awarded $482,000 to four housing authorities to assist young people aging out of foster care and who are at risk of experiencing homelessness.
Secretary Ben Carson made the announcement during an interview with Jericka Duncan on CBS This Morning.
Funded through HUD’s new Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative, this funding will offer housing vouchers to local public housing authorities to prevent or end homelessness among young adults under the age of 25 who are, or have recently left, the foster care system without a home to go to.
FYI requires that communities provide supportive services for the length of assistance to help youth achieve self-sufficiency. These activities center around basic life skills, landlord outreach and job preparation. Additionally, they will receive educational and career counseling, as well as counseling on program and lease compliance. These supportive services are critical given that the assistance is time limited.
“HUD wants to lend a helping hand to young people by ensuring they have a smooth transition when leaving the foster care system to branch out on their own,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “With assistance from local housing authorities, today’s funding helps keep young people off the streets and prevents them from becoming homeless and gives them the tools they need for a new beginning.”
R. Hunter Kurtz, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing added: “Giving someone a place to call home is at the core of HUD’s mission. HUD is proud to work with these local housing authorities to help young people leaving foster care get into a place they call their own.”
Additionally, HUD is in the process of awarding another 32 vouchers to eligible participants before the end of the month.
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 percent of these young people experience homelessness within four years of leaving foster care and an even higher share are precariously housed.
Source: U.S. Housing and Urban Development
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