(206) 220-5356 (work)
(804) 363-7018 (cell)
June 2, 2011
TWO OREGON HOUSING AUTHORITIES AWARDED $1.2 MILION IN RENTAL ASSISTANCE TO HELP 200 FAMILIES STAY TOGETHER
Grants will keep Portland and Salem children out of foster care, young adults from homelessness
PORTLAND - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have awarded two Oregon housing authorities $1,256,268 to provide 200 rental assistance vouchers to help keep children out of foster care and their families stay together.
Today HUD awarded $727,020 to Home Forward, the housing authority of Portland, for 50 Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers and $529,248 to the Salem Housing Authority for 100 FUP vouchers.
"It's heartbreaking to realize that thousands of children live in foster care or forced to live with other families simply because their parents can't afford a home," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "The funding provided today will
keep thousands of families together under one roof."
"At risk families face even greater risks when they are separated," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. "By reuniting them, we improve their prospects for meeting all the other challenges they face."
In 2009, an estimated 423,773 children lived in foster care in the U.S. as case workers helped to reunite them with their families or primary caregivers. Today's FUP awards totaled some $15 million to 32 housing authorities in 16 states to provide a total of 1,931 vouchers under HUD's Family Unification Program. The FUP vouchers are available for families whose inadequate housing is the primary factor in the separation or near separation from their children. In addition, FUP vouchers will provide stable housing for young adults (ages 18-21) who left or are aging out of the foster care system, preventing them from becoming homeless.
FUP funding allows local public housing authorities to work closely with local child welfare agencies to identify families with children in foster care or who are at risk of being placed in foster care and youth at risk of homelessness. These vouchers, like HUD's Housing Choice Vouchers, allow families and youths to rent housing from private landlords and generally pay 30 percent of their monthly income towards rent and utilities.
According to the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare (http://www.nchcw.org/home.aspx), it costs the federal government approximately $56,892 annually per family to place children into foster care. Yet the cost to provide housing and supportive services to one family averages less than $14,000 annually. Through this investment
in FUP to reunify families who are separated due to housing problems, HUD will reunite nearly 3,500 children with their parents, thus saving $74 million in annual foster care expenditures. Cost savings are also considerable for young people aging out of foster care. The average annual cost of a FUP voucher for young adults is $5,600 - a tenth of
the estimated costs associated with undesirable outcomes such as homelessness, incarceration, and residential treatment.
"With this investment of FUP vouchers, Secretary Donovan continues to demonstrate his understanding of the critical role stable housing plays in keeping families together and safe," said Ruth White, Executive Director of the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare. "We applaud HUD for leading the way to kind of interagency resource sharing that will reunify thousands of children with their families, prevent homelessness among youth aging out of foster care, and ultimately reduce costs."
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.