U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a new initiative to target housing assistance to young people aging out of foster care and who are at extreme risk of experiencing homelessness. HUD's new Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative will offer housing vouchers to local public housing authorities to prevent or end homelessness among young adults under the age of 25 who are, or have recently left, the foster care system without a home to go to. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that more than 20,000 young people age out of foster care each year. The National Center for Housing and Child Welfare (NCHCW) estimates that approximately 25 percent of these young people experience homelessness within four years of leaving foster care and an even higher share are precariously housed.

HUD is offering tenant-protection vouchers to certain public housing authorities (many located in smaller communities and rural areas) that do not participate in HUD's Family Unification Program. In addition, participating public housing authorities must:

  • Administer a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program;
  • Enter into a partnership agreement with a Public Child Welfare Agency (PCWA);
  • Accept young people referred by their partnering PCWA;
  • Determine that the referred youth are eligible for HCV assistance.