HUD Awards $30 Million to Help Children in Foster Care
November 26, 2018
By: All in Georgia
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $30 million to public housing authorities nationwide, which will work closely with local public welfare agencies to identify youth at risk of homelessness and families whose lack of adequate housing is the primary reason their children are in foster care.
This funding will make 3,000 vouchers available for families who are unable to secure affordable housing for their children or dependents.
“HUD is committed to helping parents and caregivers obtain safe and affordable housing for their families,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “This investment will allow thousands of children to leave the foster care system and live with their families so they have the opportunity to thrive together.”
“With this investment, Secretary Carson takes a major step forward in his plans to ensure that HUD resources provide a platform for strong families and opportunities for self-sufficiency” said Ruth White, Executive Director of the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare. “We applaud the Secretary for leading the way towards interagency collaboration that will reunify thousands of children with their parents, improve the economic prospects for youth leaving foster care, and ultimately reduce costs.”
The funding is offered through HUD’s Family Unification Program (FUP), which provides rental assistance to parents struggling to provide adequate housing for their children. 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. Like HUD’s Housing Choice Vouchers, these vouchers 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.
Housing authorities that are awarded vouchers work closely with local public welfare agencies to identify youth at risk of homelessness and children who were placed in foster care due to lack of adequate housing.
Ohio received $558,096 in funding from the Family Unification Program. The Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority was awarded $485,311 and the Akron Metropolitan Authority was awarded $72,784.
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