Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced the Family Unification, Preservation, and Modernization Act (S. 2289) <https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/s2289/BILLS-114s2289is.pdf> , which makes critical improvements to accessing housing resources and supportive services for high-need families and youth at risk of becoming homeless. The Family Unification Program (FUP) provides housing assistance vouchers to families that are involved with child welfare and youth aging-out of the foster care system. For families that are involved with child welfare, access to housing assistance can make the difference of whether a family is separated or kept intact. The changes that S. 2289 proposes will make the FUP program more effective for serving both families and youth that at high-risk of long-term housing instability or homelessness. The bill promotes housing first principles in order to reduce barriers to housing that many needy families face, and also provides families quicker access to housing to allow them to start the process of stabilization. The youth-FUP voucher program also creates an opportunity to reduce lapses in housing for youth aging out of the foster care during a critical transition period in their young adult lives. S. 2289 makes key changes to FUP vouchers to make them a more effective resource for transition-age youth, including extending the programs time-limit and allowing young adults who are within 90 day of leaving foster care to access housing assistance, which will reduce gaps in housing for this population.
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