Today Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) reintroduced The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act, a bill designed to increase access to housing for youth aging out of foster care without increasing federal spending.
“The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act will help break the issue of federally created homelessness, in which youth are currently aging out of foster care and into homelessness,” said Turner. “Roughly 20,000 youth across the country age out of foster care each year. This bill will create a pathway that kids who age out of the foster care system can use to transition successfully into independence.”
In FY2016, the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families estimated that over 20,000 youth across the country emancipated (“aged out”) from foster care. The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act prioritizes minors who are aging out of foster care and at risk of homelessness when furnishing housing assistance, and provides these individuals enhanced opportunities to become successful, productive members of society. The bill provides a two-pronged approach:
- Early application: Minors can apply for housing assistance upon reaching 16 years of age, prior to aging out of foster care.
- Priority Preference: Six months prior to aging out of foster care, youth will automatically receive a “top-3” priority preference for housing assistance within their local jurisdiction.
In past Congresses, The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act received support from the following organizations:
- National Center for Housing and Child Welfare
- First Focus Campaign for Children
- Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
- Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies
- Lighthouse Youth Services (Ohio)
- Center of Vocational Alternatives (COVA) (Ohio)
- Ohio Youth Advisory Board (YAB) leadership
- Alumni of Care Together Improving Outcomes Now (ACTION) Ohio leadership
- Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association