WASHINGTON – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) joined several of his colleagues in introducing bipartisan legislation that aims to help youth aging out of foster care with their housing needs. The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act would grant priority preference for federal housing assistance to foster youth who are aging out of care and allow youth in foster care to apply for housing assistance at the age of 16, prior to aging out, which in many states occurs the day foster youth turn 18.
“Every year, I am given the opportunity to welcome young leaders from the Foster Youth Internship Program into my office. It is amazing to see them push forward towards their goals, in spite of many challenges,” Scott said. “That is why it is important for us to lift them up when necessary, and this bipartisan bill will help our foster youth who are aging out of care prosper and continue working to achieve the American Dream.”
“One of the biggest challenges facing older foster youth is aging out of care and being without a place to live,” Grassley said. “This bill would make it easier for such youth to get federal housing assistance so they can continue their education, get a job and have a good start into adulthood.”
Sen. Scott joined Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), co-chairs of the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth, and Senators Al Franken (D-MN), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Angus King (I-ME) to introduce this bipartisan legislation designed to help youth aging out of foster care with their housing needs.
Foster youth face an especially difficult transition period from childhood to adulthood, and as many as 37 percent become homeless soon after aging out of care. Even more face housing instability such as frequent housing changes and “couch surfing.” As a result, they are more susceptible to human trafficking and other dangerous outcomes. Helping these young people access federal housing assistance will provide a safety net and allow them the opportunity to get on their feet and become self-sufficient adults.
The bill is the Senate version of a measure in the House of Representatives by Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH). Grassley co-founded the Senate Caucus on Foster with the goal of hearing directly from foster youth about the challenges they face.
The text of the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act is available here.