New Foster Youth to Independence Notice (PIH 2023-04)

In mid-March, HUD published a notice titled “Foster Youth to Independence Initiative” (PIH 2023-04). The notice does several things:

  • The notice supersedes the prior Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) notice (PIH 2021-26);
  • The notice details the process by which PHAs may apply for $30 million in funding from a combination of remaining funds from the 2023, 2022, 2021, and 2020 appropriations acts;
  • It details the process for FYI funding applications for future appropriations acts;
  • It describes a new Voucher Management System (VMS) field and details reporting requirements for FYI Tenant Protection Vouchers;
  • The notice makes certain changes to the utilization requirements for PHAs that currently have Family Unification Program (FUP) or FYI vouchers and creates exceptions for those utilization requirements;
    • If a PHA has 10 or fewer FUP or FYI vouchers (previously, this was 5 or fewer vouchers), it must have a 50% utilization rate for each category of mentioned voucher to request additional vouchers;
    • If a PHA has 11 or more vouchers, it must have a 90% utilization for each category of mentioned voucher to request additional vouchers;
      • This notice creates new exceptions for those that do not meet the utilization levels for their category:
        • Project-basing exception – PHAs project-basing FYI or FUP vouchers may have those vouchers that are to be project-based removed from the utilization calculation, though the resulting numbers must still meet the utilization criteria; and
        • Families Searching for a Unit exception – PHAs may submit a 2-page narrative stating why the PHA meets the utilization threshold, but this rate is not yet reflected in VMS data or PHAs may submit a certification that all available FYI or FUP vouchers have been issued, with actions being taken to assist the voucher holders, and that the PHA expects to meet the utilization requirement;
  • It clarifies that PHAs must comply with the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities provisions that were passed into law and may provide an additional 24 months for youth to continue receiving voucher assistance if they meet certain requirements (e.g., participating in a self-sufficiency program or engaging in education, workforce development, or employment activities; for additional information see “Implementation of the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Amendments” in the Federal Register).

The full notice can be found here.

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