Partnering for Progress: Housing for Transition-Aged Youth Columbus, OH April 22, 2014 Ruth White National Center for Housing and Child Welfare
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.
What are unaccompanied youth up against? • 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. • Existing (and unnecessary) gaps exist between agencies – these gaps are costly.
The bigger picture: “Everyone is living in their parents’ basement” • More “youth” in their 20s and 30s are still at home than at any other time since the Great Depression. • Average age of total financial independence was 26 in 2000. • A majority of current college seniors are planning on moving back home after graduation. • Youth employment rate the lowest since 1940s. • Many traditional entry-level jobs are now overseas. Many entry-level jobs have no health insurance. • Americans, 25-26, still get an average of $2,323 a year from parents. One out of 8 Americans is getting food stamps.
What can be done at the state level to address housing issues? • Expand what works (Star House, Lighthouse, Daybreak) • Capitalize on current flexibility and raise expectations of how federal and state child welfare dollars are used – and who they are used for. • Build statewide partnerships to create a range of affordable housing opportunities. • Tap new and unusual streams of funding. • Plan for the future…
Knit funding streams together to maximize time for youth to achieve self-sufficiency Age 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Independent Living Title IV-E Family Foster Care/Residential Unsheltered Homelessness Sheltered Homelessness FUP for youth Regular Sec. 8 Other Subsidy Roommate Private Housing/LL
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
Making the Case… • 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.
Barriers and overcoming them… • Legislative – Federal (What has Congress done) • Regulatory (How has HUD, HHS, or DOJ interpreted Congress’s intent) • Policy (What is your state doing with this information/opportunity) • Is OH taking advantage of current federal law? • Are state leaders partnering in ways that they can take advantage of current law? • Does OH need ORC changes? If so, the youth voice will be the most effective way to get them.
Some final thoughts on how to overcome barriers to partnership • Pay a visit to the states that have made strides, learn from their mistakes and achievements. • Be honest – beware of the “halo effect” • Raise expectations. On everyone. • Accelerate the pace of reform. • Collaborations are the fastest, most efficient way to create a range of housing options. • Get a seat at the table where housing resources are being discussed.
Contact information • Ruth White, MSSA Executive Director National Center for Housing and Child Welfare 4707 Calvert Rd College Park, MD 20740 (301) 699-0151 email@example.com www.nchcw.org