The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Tuesday awarded nearly $1 million to provide housing assistance to youth who are at risk of experiencing homelessness after aging out of foster care.
The funding was given to 17 Public Housing Agencies across 11 states, including in California, Florida, Texas and North Carolina.
“HUD is committed to serving our nation’s foster youth by ensuring that they have access to safe, stable, and affordable homes,” HUD secretary Marcia L. Fudge wrote in a statement. “With these funds, Public Housing Agencies can help meet the housing needs of nearly 100 youth who have aged out of the foster care program and are at one of the most pivotal and vulnerable times in their lives.”
The agency'sFoster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative initiative aims to create a community response to homeless youth who have encountered the child welfare system. The housing agency says FYI makes funding available to public child welfare agencies.
Under this program, Public Housing Agencies can provide housing aid to young adults ages 18 to 24 who left foster care or will leave the system in the next 90 days, who are either homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless.
More than 424,000 youth under the age of 18 are currently living in foster care, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services.
An agency in California received the largest amount in aid – more than $340,000 – from HUD’s most recent awards, with funds going to the Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo in Belmont. According to estimates from the Children's Law Center of California, nearly one-third of all the nation’s unaccompanied homeless youth reside in the state..
The announcement comes on the first anniversary of the House America Initiative, which aims "to address the homelessness crisis in the U.S. by leveraging the historic resources in the American Rescue Plan [President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill] through a Housing First approach."