Support HR 4300 - The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
SF Office: (415) 556-4862
DC Office: (202) 225-4965
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My name is __________. I am a constituent, and my zip code is _______. I am a member of Indivisible SF.
[For Speaker Pelosi]: I ask that you support the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act (HR 4300). Thank you.
[For Rep. Speier]:: I ask that you cosponsor the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act (HR 4300).
Roughly 20,000 people “age out” of foster care every year. Many enter adulthood with severe disadvantages, such as histories of trauma, poor education and job skills, few financial resources, or little or no family support. Up to one-third of them experience homelessness in the years just after their emancipation. Homelessness makes it extremely hard for young adults to succeed in school or work and increases their risk of substance use, depression, assault, and suicide.
Young adults leaving foster care are eligible for Housing Choice Vouchers, but applicants wait years for assistance; only 1 in 4 eligible households receive any federal rental assistance due to limited funding. The President and Congress have authorized the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to make a special pool of vouchers (Family Unification Program or FUP vouchers) available to selected state and local housing agencies that partner with child welfare agencies to help at-risk youth and families. But only 230 agencies out of more than 2,200 nationwide are authorized to administer them.
The House bill would authorize HUD to make FUP vouchers available through every agency that administers vouchers and to provide them to all at-risk foster youth who need them (subject to the availability of funding that policymakers provide through the annual appropriations process). It would replace the unnecessarily cumbersome competitive process for awarding FUP grants with a more streamlined process that enables an agency to receive a voucher from HUD when a child welfare agency requests one on behalf of a young person who’s at risk. This “on-demand” process would better meet the needs of at-risk foster youth, particularly in communities where FUP vouchers aren’t now available.
The bill also encourages housing agencies and child welfare agencies to connect youth to support that can help them become independent, and it would let youth use their vouchers for up to 60 months (the current limit is 36) if they’re participating in educational, training, or work-related activities.