With Vouchers Rescinded, Former Foster Care Youth in Houston Stuck in Limbo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

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

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


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Of the 55 former foster-care youth benefiting from the program, Thiele said, nine vouchers were rescinded.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.