Offers $30 million for new incremental vouchers; modifies reporting
On March 15, HUD issued Notice PIH 2023-04: Foster Youth to Independence Initiative. This notice provides the eligibility and application process for $30 million available from FY 22 and FY 23 Appropriations, and any remaining prior year funds, as well as provisions for distributions should additional funding become available. A total of $30 million ($15 million from FY 22 and $15 million from FY 23) is being made available on a non-competitive basis to PHAs that partner with public child welfare agencies to identify eligible youth.
The program requirements for awards under Notice 2021-26 remain the same. Requests submitted to HUD by PHAs pursuant to PIH Notice 2021-26 prior to the publication of this notice do not need to be re-submitted. This notice replaces and supersedes Notice 2021-26.
Requests for non-competitive FYI awards will be accepted on a rolling basis until all funds have been committed. This notice calls for PHAs, PCWAs (Public Child Welfare Agencies) and CoCs (Continuums of Care) to work together to determine the most appropriate intervention for each young person.
Eligibility requirements for HAs are modified to allow HAs to request an exception to the utilization requirements (50 percent for FYI/FUP programs of up to 10 vouchers, and 90 percent for programs above 10 vouchers). Exceptions include a project-basing exception, and a Families searching for a Unit exception. Initial maximum award is 25 vouchers, with high lease-up programs able to request an additional 25 vouchers, for a maximum of 50 FYI non-competitive voucher awards per fiscal year.
The notice also adds a new VMS field for FYI vouchers, clarifies reporting for FYI Tenant Projection Vouchers issued in 2019, and reminds agencies of the reporting changes in VMS implemented early in 2022, including that FYI vouchers leased should no longer be reported in the FUP field.
The notice also notes both the 36 month limit on FYI Voucher assistance, and the 24 month extension option available for youth who initially lease after December 27, 2020 and meet the requirements for an extension under the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities (FSHO) amendments.
Members with Foster Youth to Independence Initiative programs, or who are considering a program, are encouraged to review the notice.