HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) issued Notice PIH 2019-20 announcing the Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) initiative. Depending on voucher availability, HUD will provide Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPVs) to public housing agencies (PHAs) for youth aging out of foster care. The youth must be eligible under the Family Unification Program (FUP), at least 18 years of age but not more than 24 years of age, who have left foster care or will leave within 90 days, and who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Only PHAs not currently participating in FUP may apply.
Congress appropriates specific funding for Housing Choice Vouchers set aside for TPVs each year. In general, TPVs may be provided to low-income residents of project-based HUD-assisted housing when there is a change in the status of their assisted housing that will cause residents to lose their homes (for example, public housing demolition) or render their homes unaffordable (for example, when a property owner “opts-out” of a Section 8 contract). Only $85 million is available for all possible TPV uses in FY19, the same amount available in FY18 but down from $130 million during FY14-16.
The FY19 appropriation act allows funds appropriated for TPVs to be used for FUP. Notice PIH 2019-20 states that there is $20 million in FY19 appropriated for FUP Special Purpose Vouchers (SPVs) and that, in the competition for those funds, only 5% of those assisted are youth while the balance serves families. HUD is therefore launching the Foster Youth to Independence initiative and introducing FYI TPVs distinct from the $20 million appropriated for the FUP SPVs.
Notice PIH 2019-20 states that HUD will monitor demand for TPVs for all categories eligible to access the $85 million TPV account and award FYI TPVs on a rolling basis depending on the availability of the amount appropriated for TPVs. Because HUD is intent on “repositioning” at least 105,000 units of public housing by September 30, the close of FY19 (see Memo,11/19/18), the demand for TPVs could be high as PHAs apply for them after obtaining HUD approval to demolish public housing or to convert public housing to vouchers.
PHAs applying for the FYI TPVs must partner with a public child welfare agency (PCWA) that will identify FUP-eligible youth as well as review referrals from PHAs and Continuums of Care. The PCWA must have a priority system to determine which youth to recommend for an FYI TPV. The PCWA must also provide services for at least 36 months, but youth will not be required to participate in any of the available services as a condition of receiving the FYI TPV.
Notice PIH 2019-20 is at: https://bit.ly/2ysHo3a
A HUD media release is at: https://bit.ly/30YNowX
More information about Tenant Protection Vouchers is on page 4-11 of NLIHC’s 2019 Advocates’ Guide.
More information about the Family Unification Program is on page 4-15 of NLIHC’s 2019 Advocates’ Guide.