Wyden Sponsors Bill to Prevent Homelessness Among Foster Youth

A week ago, Sen. Ron Wyden announced he will co-sponsor legislation that would extend housing vouchers for young people to use for up to three years after they become adults and leave foster care.  

The bipartisan Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act would let federal and local housing authorities match up aging-out foster young people with Family Unification Program (FUP) Housing Choice vouchers when needed. The vouchers would phase out after three years and go back into the program for other foster youth when they become adults.  

“The transition for foster kids to adulthood facing all of life’s challenges can put them at increased risk in Oregon and nationwide of homelessness or unstable housing,” Wyden said. “This bill would help to prevent the dangers of that slide into hardship by providing affordable housing support for these young people as they embark on building solid futures for themselves.”  

About 20,000 young people transition out of foster care each year in the United States, and studies have shown significant risks for them enduring homelessness after exiting foster care.  

As the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, Wyden’s work on affordable housing also includes the following:  

  • Introducing the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, which would increase the supply of affordable housing by 500,000 units over the next decade nationwide – the largest expansion ever of that tax credit. 
  • Working to get more than $2 billion for shelters and transitional housing for the homeless. 
  • Securing an extra $125 million for homeless assistance grants that I will be pushing to ensure gets signed by the White House into law. 
  • Introducing legislation that helps first-time homebuyers with targeted tax credits. 
  • Closing a loophole in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit that results in the loss of 10,000 affordable housing units nationally each year.  

The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act was introduced by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). The House version of the bill has passed the House.  

The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act is supported by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, National Center for Housing & Child Welfare, National Alliance to End Homeless, National Low Income Housing Coalition, Children’s Defense Fund, First Focus Campaign for Children, Schoolhouse Connection, Youth Homes of Mid-America, National Network for Youth, Foster Club, Children’s Home Society of America, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials and Public Housing Authorities Directors Association.