Recently, HUD announced two updates regarding a foster youth initiative and the Jobs Plus program.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson 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. According to HUD’s press release, the new “Foster Youth to Independence” (FYI) initiative will offer housing vouchers to public housing authorities for young adults aged 18-24 who have left or will leave the foster care system and are at risk of homelessness.
Through the FYI initiative, HUD will provide Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPVs) for youth eligible under the Family Unification Program (FUP), as allowed by the 2019 Consolidated Appropriations Act. HUD is offering TPVs 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; and determine that the referred youth are eligible for HCV assistance.
The National Center for Housing and Child Welfare estimates that 25% of youth experience homelessness within four years of leaving foster care; an even higher share are precariously housed. Click here to read HUD’s Notice titled, “Tenant Protection Vouchers for Foster Youth to Independence Initiative.”
The FY19 Jobs Plus NOFA was published on July 30, 2019 on www.grants.gov. The NOFA makes up to $20,700,000 available, and HUD anticipates awarding approximately 7 grants. Applications are due Tuesday, October 1, 2019. For criteria and application instructions, please visit the 2019 Jobs Plus funding webpage.
The purpose of the Jobs Plus Initiative program is to develop locally-based, job-driven approaches to increase earnings and advance employment outcomes through work readiness, employer linkages, job placement, educational advancement technology skills, and financial literacy for residents of public housing. The place-based Jobs Plus Initiative program addresses poverty among public housing residents by incentivizing and enabling employment through income disregards for working families, and a set of services designed to support work including employer linkages, job placement and counseling, educational advancement, and financial counseling. Ideally, these incentives will saturate the target developments, building a culture of work and making working families the norm. The program model relies on three core components: employment-related service, financial incentives, and community support for work.
For more information about Jobs Plus, please visit the program’s website at: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/public_indian_housing/jpi