On July 26, HUD issued a notice announcing a new initiative to provide Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPVs) to youth aging out of foster care. HUD describes the program, known as the Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) initiative, as one designed to address the unmet housing needs of youth aging of foster care, who often experience high rates of homelessness after exiting the child welfare system.
While HUD’s Family Unification Program (FUP) is intended to serve both families and youth involved with the child welfare system, 95 percent of current FUP participants are families, according to the notice. Because so few PHAs administer FUP vouchers-- only 280 nationally--eligible youth experience dual barriers to receiving a voucher in that families are more likely to be referred and many youths may live in a community where FUP vouchers are not an available resource.
To address the challenges of serving foster youth through FUP and preventing future homeless episodes, the FYI initiative will provide TPVs for FUP-eligible youth to PHAs who are not currently administering FUP vouchers. PHAs interested in receiving a TPV for an eligible youth will be required to create a partnership infrastructure with their local child welfare agency that is similar to what is required of FUP grantees. Eligibility criteria for the initiative follows FUP eligibility guidelines for youth. For more detailed instructions regarding the application process and eligibility requirements, please see the full notice.
The National Center for Housing and Child Welfare is hosting a series of webinars on the FYI initiative, and some of the content may be of interest to CLPHA members who are considering applying for FYI vouchers. Registration for the webinars can be found here.
CLPHA would like to hear from members who are considering applying for FYI vouchers. To indicate your interest or to raise questions or concerns about this new initiative, please contact CLPHA’s Senior Research & Policy Analyst Emily Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org.