The New Foster Youth to Independence Tenant Protection Vouchers Program for Foster Youth

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Have you heard of the new Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPV) Housing Voucher Program for Foster Youth? You may be curious as to how it works, and we can help break it down!

Here is a brief overview:
The new foster youth specific housing voucher program FYI TPV is provided through the Foster Youth to Independence initiative where HUD will provide Tenant Protection Vouchers for Family Unification Program (FUP) eligible youth. FYI-TPV is different from the FUP that has been available for Foster Youth in recent years.

Previously, FUP made available limited number of vouchers and served two populations: Foster Youth at risk of homelessness or homeless 18-24 and families who needed to stay together and were at risk of separation due to lack of housing with open CPS case.

In Michigan, the FUP Voucher for Foster Youth was available only in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Lapeer and Saint Claire counties. As there are many barriers to connecting with youth aging out of care and much more at stake for child welfare departments to close CPS cases, the national data showed only 5 percent of the FUP Vouchers were going to youth aging out and 95 percent for the second target population. That data outcome and increasing affordable housing need for youth aging out of foster care led to the creation of this new opportunity for youth aging out of foster care.

MDHHS has an existing agreement with HUD for FUP Vouchers – and now a new agreement (MOU) for FYI will start the new referrals to come in to HUD via MDHHS as referrals have to have verified foster care history. Referrals to HUD via local Public Housing Authorities can only be accepted from MDHHS. Youth have to be homeless or at risk of being homeless during referral. Lifetime of voucher is 36 months/(3 years). After that period ends, local Public Housing Authorities can continue to place youth on the priority list to continue to supporting youth, if they find it necessary. Aged out youth whose cases were closed after 16 and have not reached their 25th birthday can be referred while between the ages of 18-24, if they are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

Referrals to MDHHS in the past are received from contracted private agencies and shelters as well as State workers before determination is made to forward to PHA/HUD. There is a 60 day or more turnaround time for youth to be contacted for an interview.

YIT eligible youth 16-23 can be serviced through closed case services, YIT Coalitions and community partners. However the 23 and 24 year old age out youth will have to self advocate and reach out to benefit from this voucher by reaching out to their local YIT/Closed Case services. The voucher requires that services get extended to this population of aged out 23 and 24 year olds as well. Since this is a new initiative each local community will have to design their own system of reaching out and service in this population.

YAVFC, SIL, IL, ILP youth and youth in placements are not eligible. 90 days before youth ages out, and it is deemed that there is no other viable plan to keep youth in stable housing, referrals can be made for FYI vouchers.

Public Housing Authorities managing the FUP Vouchers will not administer the FYI Vouchers. The list of PHA’s that can process the vouchers are listed below. But ALL their referrals must come from MDHHS.

There is limited funding and each Public Housing Authority can not exceed 25 vouchers per fiscal year.

There is strong guidance to categorize targeted population by need, skill, risk to homelessness and to ensure relevant supportive services are available to youth in housing program, such as employment, training, education, mental/physical health, and life skills that can help youth towards self sufficiency. Supportive services are not mandatory for FYI Housing Voucher program.

The following Public Housing Authorities will have access to the FYI TPV Housing Voucher Program.
However, qualified youth are invited for an interview after application has been submitted by MDHHS to HUD/PHA so youth cannot initiate the contact directly.Dearborn Housing Commission
River Rouge Housing Commission
Flint Housing Commission
Benton Harbor Housing Commission
Baraga Housing Commission
Reed City Housing Commission
Greenville Housing Commission
Inkster Housing Commission
Cheboygan Housing Commission
Muskegon Heights Housing Commission
Benton Township Housing Commission
Battle Creek Housing Commission
Sault Ste Marie Housing Commission
Roseville Housing Commission
Jackson Housing Commission
Port Huron Housing Commission
Clinton Township Housing Commission
Eastpointe Housing Commission
Grayling Housing Commission
Melvindale Housing Commission
Manistique Housing Commission
Baldwin Housing Commission
Lincoln Park Housing Commission
Saint Clair Housing Commission
Livonia Housing Commission
Lansing Housing Commission
St Clair Shores Housing Commission
Cadillac Housing Commission
Saint Louis Housing Commission
Hancock Housing Commission
Muskegon Housing Commission
Marquette Housing Commission
Grand Rapids Housing Commission
Mount Pleasant Housing Commission
Traverse City Housing Commission
Boyne City Housing Commission
Menominee Housing Commission
Taylor Housing Commission
Rockford Housing Commission
Munising Housing Commission
Ferndale Housing Commission
Southfield Housing Commission
Lapeer Housing Commission
Evart Housing Commission
Wyoming Housing Commission
Ionia Housing Commission
Iron County Housing Commission
Dowagiac Housing Commission
Alma Housing Commission
Luce County Housing Commission
Westland Housing Commission
Sterling Heights Housing Commission
Potterville Housing Commission
Schoolcraft County Housing Commission
Montcalm Housing Commission
Bath Charter Township Housing Commission
We should have more updates for you soon on how to proceed.
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