HUD's Family Unification Program (FUP) will make 2,543 Housing Choice Vouchers available for families whose inadequate housing is the primary cause of their separation or near separation from their children. In addition, 20 percent of these vouchers will provide stable housing for approximately 750 young adults (ages 18-22) who are aging out of the foster care system, preventing them from becoming homelessness.
The funding is awarded to local public housing authorities that work closely with local child welfare agencies to identify families with children in foster care or who are at risk of being placed in foster care and youth at risk of homelessness. These vouchers, like regular Housing Choice Vouchers, allow families to rent housing from private landlords and generally pay 30 percent of the family's monthly adjusted gross income towards rent and utilities.
According to the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare (NCHCW), the average annual cost of providing foster care for one family's children is $56,892. By contrast, it costs approximately $13,193 a year to provide rental assistance and supportive services for that same family. Since FUP provides affordable housing to this targeted population, it's estimated that the total yearly savings to the foster care system is more than $142 million. Cost savings are also considerable for young people aging out of foster care. The average annual FUP costs for young adults is $5,600 – a tenth of the estimated costs associated with homelessness, incarceration, and residential treatment.
"The Family Unification Program exemplifies Secretary Donovan's commitment to interagency coordination and resource sharing," said Ruth White, Executive Director of NCHCW. "FUP will enable housing and social service providers to work together to apply resources where they are most needed to prevent and end homelessness for thousands of children and youth nationwide - and ultimately save money along the way."
Modified On : October 13, 2010
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