CSH is leading efforts to improve H.R. 3700, a bill before the U.S. Congress that would make many important changes to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) core rental assistance programs. The proposed legislation includes many provisions that would increase the efficiency and effectiveness of critical rental assistance programs serving extremely low-income households.
The proposal includes changes to the Family Unification Program (FUP) that would make more impactful the housing resources available to young adults who have been involved with foster care. Current statute imposes limitations on vouchers targeting youth who have left foster care. Those impediments can make it difficult for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to administer the voucher effectively so that young adults find quality, affordable housing and also the time they may need to engage in meaningful services programming to achieve independent living and long-term housing stability.
CSH is focused on modifications to Section 110 of H.R. 3700 in order to improve Youth- FUP voucher assistance. Specifically, we are urging language:
- Extending the age eligibility for FUP vouchers that serve young adults leaving care from 21 to 24;
- Increasing the time period for housing assistance for youth receiving the FUP voucher from 18 to 36 months;
- Allowing FUP voucher assistance to begin 90 days prior to a young adult leaving foster care (either through emancipation process or aging out), and incorporate the assistance into young adults’ transition plan to reduce lapses in housing;
- Including language requiring federal agencies to issue joint guidance to both PHAs and PWCAs (public child welfare agencies) on how to improve the referral process for the FUP voucher and identify eligible recipients of FUP, align program goals, and reduce lapses in housing for young persons who have been involved in foster care; and
- Allowing Public Housing Authorities to project-base Family Unification vouchers.
On October 21, 2015, CSH Federal Policy Director Hilary Swab Gawrilow testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, on Section 110 of H.R. 3700 and urged Members of Congress to incorporate the above-listed changes suggested by CSH.