CRHA Receives $704,313 in Funding to Foster Youth to Independence


U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Ben Carson, Secretary
Joseph J. DeFelice, Regional Administrator, Region III

HUD R3 No. 20-04                                                                                      
Lisa A. Wolfe, 215.430.6640                                                                       
January 14, 2020

RICHMOND – U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson today awarded $234,771to the Chesapeake Redevelopment and Housing Authority to assist young people aging out of foster care and who are at risk of experiencing homelessness. 

Secretary Ben Carson made the announcement during an interview with Jericka Duncan on CBS This Morning.        
Funded through HUD’s new Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative, this fundingwill 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. FYI requires that communities provide supportive services for the length of assistance to help youth achieve self-sufficiency. These activities center around basic life skills, landlord outreach, and job preparation. Additionally, they will receive educational and career counseling as well as counseling on program and lease compliance.  This is critical given that the assistance is time limited.
“HUD wants to lend a helping hand to young people by ensuring they have a smooth transition when leaving the foster care system to branch out on their own,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “With assistance from local housing authorities, today’s funding helps keep young people off the streets and prevents them from becoming homeless and gives them the tools they need for a new beginning.”

"No young person who grows up in foster care should experience homelessness through no fault of their own," said Joe DeFelice, Regional Administrator for the Mid-Atlantic region. "The foundation of a stable life is stable housing and this initiative will allow local housing authorities, working child welfare agencies and homeless planners, to focus this housing assistance to those young people who need it most."

Additionally, HUD is in the process of awarding another 32 vouchers to eligible participants before the end of the month.

These tenant-protection vouchers will go to public housing authorities that do not participate in HUD’s Family Unification Program. The 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.
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's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. The Department’s Mid-Atlantic region includes Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia. The regional office is in Philadelphia. Follow Regional Administrator Joe DeFelice on Twitter.
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