The San Diego Housing Commission was awarded 75 additional federal rental housing vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Monday to help reunite children with their families.
The additional vouchers will also and youth exiting foster care who experience homelessness or are at risk of homelessness, according to commission president and CEO Richard C. Gentry.
The vouchers are part of the Family Unification Program. They have an estimated annual value of $997,704, Gentry said.
This award increases SDHC’s amount of vouchers to 175. SDHC partners with the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency and Child Welfare Services to identify families and youth who qualify for the voucher program.
“With these new rental housing vouchers, the San Diego Housing Commission will be able to help 75 vulnerable households address the housing challenges that have separated families or created the risk of adding to the number of youth without a home of their own,” Gentry said.
Family Unification Program vouchers assist:
— Families for whom the lack of housing is the primary factor in the separation of children from their families, or who are at imminent risk of such separation;
— Families for whom the discharge from children from out-of-home care is delayed because of a lack of housing; and
— Youths between the ages of 18 and 24 who have left or will leave foster care within 90 days and are experiencing homelessness or are at risk homelessness.
The vouchers work similarly to other rental assistance programs. Households pay a predetermined portion of their income toward their rent, and SDHC pays the balance of the rent, up to the applicable “payment standard” directly to the landlord.
The payment standard is the maximum subsidy payment that the voucher would pay for an apartment or rental house minus the portion of the contract rent that the tenant pays.
The payment standard is based on the number of bedrooms approved for the family’s size and the community to which the family moves.
SDHC will provide financial assistance, including the security deposit, and for program-eligible youth, rental application and utility start-up fees.
Two voucher holders also may receive services from the SDHC Achievement Academy, a learning and resource center at SDHC’s headquarters with programs that emphasize career planning, job skills, job placement and personal financial education.
Youth who receive rental assistance through a FUP voucher also may receive services from partner organizations, including: San Diego Youth Services, YMCA of San Diego, Home Start, South Bay Community Services, Social Advocates for Youth San Diego and Urban Street Angels.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: