HUD Awards Nearly $15 million in Family Unification Program Vouchers
Summary: On June 2, 2011, HUD awarded nearly $15 million under the Family Unification Program (FUP) to fund 1,931 Housing Choice Vouchers to help reunite foster children with their parents or prevent them from ever entering the foster care system. FUP is a program for households whose inadequate housing is the primary factor in the separation or near separation from their children. In addition, FUP vouchers 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.
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. According to the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, 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. View HUD's Family Unification Program (FUP) webpage
“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.”
Date of Publication: June 2, 2011