HUD Grant Will Fund Housing Vouchers as Alternative to foster care
November 22, 2018
In an effort to help children in foster care reunite with families and caregivers, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $544,968 to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. The money will fund 64 vouchers available for families whose inadequate housing is the cause for their separation or near separation of children.
“This funding plays a critical role in providing New Hampshire families with the housing and supportive services they need to be successfully reunited,” said David Tille, US Department of Housing and Urban Development New England Regional Administrator. The funding is offered through HUD’s Family Reunification Program, which provides rental assistance to parents being separated or nearly separated from their children.
The money can also be used to help provide stable housing for young adults (ages 18-24) who have aged out of the foster care system. The vouchers allow families to rent housing from a private landlord. Recipients of the vouchers are generally required to pay 30 percent of their monthly adjusted gross income toward rent and utilities.
On average, it costs more than $48,000 annually per family when children enter foster care. By contrast, housing and services to keep a family together costs approximately $15,000 annually, according to Tille, who said, “A $20 million investment in housing vouchers saves more than $134 million in foster care costs.” Housing agencies that receive the vouchers will work closely with local public welfare agencies to identify youth at risk of homelessness and families who would qualify for the program.