With Vouchers Rescinded, Former Foster Care Youth in Houston Stuck in Limbo

Goodin, the 21-year-old mother of an 11-month-old baby, is among more than 900 Houston families who were on track to receive a housing voucher, only for it to be stripped away without warning, thanks to the sweeping federal budget cuts.

News Story (Texas)

Meagan Flynn
Houston Press
June 15, 2017
READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Tags: Foster Youth, Housing: Affordability, Housing: Public

Organizations mentioned/involved: Disability Rights Texas, Lone Star Legal Aid


DETAILS

The HHA took on the Transition Age Youth program in 2015 specifically to address the limbo that former foster-care kids find themselves in once they turn 18, often with few living arrangements available. It’s a referral-based program, meaning the young adults can bypass the lengthy housing voucher waiting list as long as they fulfill various requirements, such as taking a life skills course.

With about 55 youth benefiting from the program, HHA Vice President Mark Thiele said it takes up only a sliver of the budget — but since the federal government ordered a freeze on all vouchers except those for veterans, exceptions could not be made for the youth program. Overall, HHA is facing a projected $9 million budget shortfall.

Of the 55 former foster-care youth benefiting from the program, Thiele said, nine vouchers were rescinded. Anyone who had not fully made it through the voucher process — that is, anyone whose apartment inspection was not completed — was out of luck.