2013 ruthie dc presentation


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2013 ruthie dc presentation

  1. 1. Housing for Transition-Aged Youth Washington, DC March 2013 Housing for Transition-Aged Youth Washington, DC March 2013 Ruth White National Center for Housing and Child Welfare
  2. 2. The National Center for Housing and Child Welfare (NCHCW)  NCHCW links housing resources to child welfare agencies to improve family functioning, prevent family homelessness, safely reduce the need for out-of-home placement, and ensure that each young person who ages out foster care is able to access safe, decent, permanent housing. 2
  3. 3. Disclaimer No am o unt o f se rvice s o r ho using o f any kind can re place the co nne ctio n to a pe rm ane nt, lo ving fam ily in the life o f a yo ung pe rso n.
  4. 4. AFCARS Data 0 100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 500,000 600,000 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Year 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 Number of children in care Number of youth emancipating How Many Youth Age Out of Foster Care Each Year?
  5. 5. How Many FFY Experience Homelessness? • No national data on homelessness among transitioning foster youth • Homelessness is one of the outcomes states will be required to report as part of the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) • Most of what we know about homelessness among this population is based on survey data from a small number of studies each of these is in a literature review recently conducted by HUD. Housing for Youth Aging out of Foster Care can be downloaded at: www.huduser.org
  6. 6. What does the existing research show? • Foster Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study (Courtney et al., 2001) • Surveyed 113 young people 12 to 18 months after they had aged out of foster care in Wisconsin • 12% reported being homeless for at least one night within 12 months of aging out • Youth Aging Out of Foster Care in Metropolitan Detroit (Fowler et al., 2006) • Surveyed 264 young people an average of 3.6 years after they had aged out of foster care in the metropolitan Detroit area • 17% reported being homelessness for an average of 61 days • One-third had spent time doubled up or “couch surfing”
  7. 7. 2011 Study of Washington State Youth (Roller White, Gallegos, O'Brien, Weisberg, Pecora & Medina (2011)) 7 •542 foster care alumni (ages 19, 22, and 25 years old) 48% of the 1135 eligible alumni •Received services from Casey Family Services for •at least 12 months •Of these youth 20% had been homeless since leaving care •Median length of homeless spell was 90 days
  8. 8.  Limits in the capacity and capabilities of Independent Living Curricula.  According to the NLIHC, in 2013, the housing wage for an efficiency in Columbus, OH is $9.31, fulltime or $19,365 annually.  This full report is available at www.nlihc.org.  Low-income housing agencies are blocking youth, ages 18-21 with juve nile records from applying.  Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, MRDD and Mental Health Systems are dropping 18 year olds due to budget deficits. What are unaccompanied youth up against?
  9. 9. “Everyone is living in their parents’ basement”  1. More “youth” in their 20s and 30s are still at home than at any other time since the Great Depression.  2. Average age of total financial independence was 26 in 2000.  3. A majority of current college seniors are planning on moving back home after graduation.  4. Youth employment rate the lowest since 1940s.  5. Many traditional entry-level jobs are now overseas.  Many entry-level jobs have no health insurance.  7. Americans, 25-26, still get an average of $2,323 a year from parents. One out of 8 Americans is getting food stamps.  
  10. 10.  Implement the Fostering Connections Act  Housing must be a central feature of your state’s independent living curriculum.  Ensure that your child welfare system organizes a continuum of housing resources – a BI-DIRECTIONAL CONTIUUM.  Build statewide partnerships to create a range of affordable housing opportunities.  Tap new and unusual streams of funding. What can be done at the state level to address housing issues?
  11. 11. Planning for successful transition to adulthood is now required by federal law  The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351) (FCSA) requires CWto create a youth directed plan 90 days prior to discharge.  This plan MUST include housing.
  12. 12. Child Welfare has more housing expertise than most systems +2 Clear Strength Refers to family receiving very high ratings in the following areas: housing stability, safety in the community, housing habitability, income/employment, financial management, food and nutrition, personal hygiene, transportation, and learning environment. 0 Baseline/Adequate Refers to family experiencing minimal problems in the following areas: housing stability, safety in the community, housing habitability, income/employment, financial management, food and nutrition, personal hygiene, transportation, and learning environment. However, problems do not interfere in family’s ability to function, and problems do not need to be addressed. -3 Serious Problem Refers to family receiving very low ratings in the following areas: housing stability, safety in the community, housing habitability, income/employment, financial management, food and nutrition, personal hygiene, transportation, and learning environment. An excerpt from a common child welfare assessment form – “overall environment”
  13. 13. Knit funding streams together to maximize time for youth to achieve self-sufficiency 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Independent Living Family Foster Care/Residential Title IV-E FUP for youth Regular Sec. 8 Other Subsidy Roommate Private Housing/LL Age
  14. 14. States CanReceive IV-E Reimbursement for SIL and other Age-Appropriate Placements for Youth 18-21  Fostering Connections added “a supervised setting in which the individual is living independently” as a reimbursable setting for youth 18-21. 42 U.S.C.A. 672 (c).  As states implement the older youth provisions of Fostering Connections, they will need to expand their capacity to provide SIL settings while youth are still in care.
  15. 15. Federal Guidance on SIL  The feds are not going to issue regulations on this setting.  States have “the discretion to develop a range of supervised independent living settings which can be reasonably interpreted as consistent with the law, including whether or not such settings need to be licensed and any safety protocols that may be needed.”
  16. 16. Examples of SIL Provided by HHS  host homes,  college dormitories,  shared housing,  semi-supervised apartments,  supervised apartments
  17. 17. Federal Guidance Continued  “We encourage the title IV-E agency to be innovative in determining the best living arrangements that could meet an olderchild's needs forsupervision and support as he/she moves toward independence.”  “Further, we note that a title IV-E agency should continue to work with youth who are in supervised independent living settings to form permanent connections with caring adults.” Guidance on Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, Program Instruction .
  18. 18. Leave no stone unturned when seeking housing resources This is just a partial list of housing resources you can tap:  ARRA Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re- Housing Program (HPRP)  Community Action Programs (received $1 billion in CSBG ARRA funds)  HOME  Low Income Housing Tax Credit  City and State housing funds, SHFAs  Private Landlords  Public Housing Authorities – Section 8 and PH  Family Unification Program
  19. 19.  Family Unification Program  Priority Codes for Youth Leaving Care  Housing Choice Vouchers  Project Based Section 8 Partnerships with Public Housing
  20. 20. Agency Partnership Department of Children and Families (child welfare) Supportive Housing (IL Program) US Dept of Housing and Urban Devt. (HUD) Local Public Housing Authority (PHA) Young person Landlord Funding and referrals MOU Housing assistance and case management Funding for Sec. 8 vouchers Pays rent on time Issues voucher to youth Pays rent on time Info and cooperation
  21. 21.  For the Community: it is the preferred option and it’s cheaper: a 2004 cost benefit analysis showed that it costs Colorado $53,655 to maintain one youth in the criminal justice system, but it only costs the state $5,887 to provide housing and services. Making the Case…
  22. 22. Colorado State Example  The Colorado Family Unification Program (FUP) focuses on serving former foster care youth experiencing homelessness. In 2001, the Colorado Department of Human Services received 100 FUP vouchers.  These Section 8 vouchers last for 18 months and are targeted specifically for youth ages 18–21 that leave foster care at age 16 or older with inadequate housing.  Recently partnered with Mile High United Way to beef up case management. Through this partnership, youth have access to job training and IDAs!
  23. 23. City of Las Vegas PHA Example  As a proactive measure, the Housing Authority of the City of Las Vegas created a local waitlist preference to ensure when its Housing Choice Voucher Wait list opens, the first 10 eligible foster youth through a referral system, receive vouchers.  With the success of the first ten youth, we plan to increase this allocation each year.
  24. 24. • State-chartered authorities established to help meet the affordable housing needs of the residents of their states. Although they vary widely in characteristics such as their relationship to state government, most HFAs are independent entities that operate under the direction of a board of directors appointed by each state's governor. • State Housing Agencies administer a number of housing funding streams, including HOME, Low Income Housing Tax Credit and some homeless funds. • More can be learned about State Housing Agencies at www.ncsha.org. State Housing Finance Agencies
  25. 25.  The Home Investment Partnership Program is a federal block grant that provides states with a flexible affordable housing funding stream. This money can be used to subsidize rent (best kept secret of HOME!) • States receive 40% of HOME dollars. • Florida and California are just a few examples of states where jurisdictions are using these funds to subsidize rent for youth leaving foster care. HOME Program
  26. 26. . The LIHTC was established in 1986 in order to encourage the construction and rehabilitation of rental housing affordable to low income households. LIHTC offers a reduction in tax liability or credit to developers or owners for the first ten years. These properties can be used for youth and often are, however there are some restrictions that affect foster youth. Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program
  27. 27. What about federal homeless assistance programs?  Change in Definition  In December 2011, HUD changed its definition of homelessness to include all youth under the age of 25 who are considered homeless by several other federal statutes.  HUD acknowledges that this group of individuals is “uniquely vulnerable.” By adding them to this definition, HUD makes them eligible for HUD services.
  28. 28. Opportunities for Prevention  The HEARTH Act funding now allows for rapid-rehousing and prevention through the newly formed Emergency Solutions Grant.  This funding could be used for unaccompanied youth to shorten shelter stays or for prevention.
  29. 29. Capturing the scope of youth homelessness  Each year, HUD asks communities to conduct a point in time (P.I.T.) of all homeless individuals and families in each HUD-funded community. Because HUD has added unaccompanied youth to their definition, HUD will require communities to include unaccompanied youth in their accounting.  As such, in 2012, HUD will provide an estimate of youth homelessness to Congress for the first time since national homeless figures have been calculated.
  30. 30. What should CW be doing on housing for families?  Train cw workers on housing issues and resources.  Consider instituting “Alternative” or “Differential Response”  Partner with local housers – like PHAs, HFAs and private non-profit developers  Set up a local Family Unification Program  Apply for a Title IV-E waiver 30
  31. 31.  Pay a visit to the states that have made strides, learn from their mistakes and achievements.  States can use some homeless services and housing dollars for youth, but again, there are restrictions.  Collaborations are the fastest, most efficient way to create a range of housing options.  Join your community continuum care Some final thoughts on where to start
  32. 32. Contact information  Ruth White, MSSA Executive Director National Center for Housing and Child Welfare 6711 Queens Chapel Rd University Park, MD 20782 (301) 699-0151 rwhite@nchcw.org www.nchcw.org