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Lee Jones
(206) 220-5356
or (804) 363-7018 (cell)

www.hud.gov/washington
For Release
Wednesday
September 30, 2009

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VANCOUVER HOUSING AUTHORITY ONE OF 11 ACROSS COUNTRY TO WIN ALMOST $5.4 MILLION TO HELP KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER
HUD also announces start of competition for an additional $14.6 million under its Family Unification rental assistance program

SEATTLE - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it has award $275,256 to the Vancouver, Washington Housing Authority to help it reunite children with their parents. The children are either in foster care or are at risk of being placed in the foster care system.

The Vancouver Authority will receive 50 vouchers under the award. Nationwide, the funding, that will support approximately 1,940 vouchers, will be available to public housing authorities through HUD's Family Unification Program (FUP), which provides rental assistance to families whose lack of adequate housing is a primary cause of parents being separated or near-separated from their children

HUD also announced the start of a new funding competition for $14.6 million in Family Unification Program funding. Local housing authorities must apply for the money by December 3, 2009. Additionally, 11 public housing authorities will receive $5.4 million immediately. To read the full text of the funding notice announced today, visit HUD's website

"Earlier this week," said HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims in making the announcement, “President Obama proclaimed Family Day on September 28th to emphasize the positive impact a loving, caring family has on children. Building strong, engaging families must first begin with a stable home. This funding will provide families the opportunity to safe, decent affordable housing for them and their children."

In addition, Family Unification Program funds can be used to help provide stable housing for young adults (ages 18-21) who have aged-out of the foster care system. These vouchers, like HUD's Housing Choice Vouchers, allow a family to rent housing from a private landlord and generally pay 30 percent of the family's monthly adjusted gross income towards rent and utilities.

The total 2009 funding is $20 million and, in addition to the $14.6 million in grants for housing authorities to apply for, 11 housing agencies will receive $5.4 million immediately (list below). These agencies submitted qualified applications for 2008 funding, but were not awarded grants because all available funding was expended. Specific instructions in the 2008 funding notice guaranteed that approvable applications would receive money if funding was made available in 2009.

According to statistics from the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare (NCHCW), an affordable housing/child welfare advocacy group, keeping children in foster care is an expensive alternative to affordable housing. On average, it costs more than $48,000 annually per family when children enter foster care. By contrast, housing and services to keep a family together costs approximately $15,000 annually. Supportive services for FUP families and youth are provided by agencies funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A $20 million investment in FUP vouchers saves more than $134 million in foster care costs.

Housing authorities that are awarded vouchers work closely with local public welfare agencies to identify youth at risk of homelessness and families for whom the lack of adequate housing is a primary reason the family's children are in, or must be placed in, foster care.

The housing authorities winning the $5.4 million awarded today are:

State

Public Housing Authority

Funding Amount

Vouchers

California

Housing Authority of the County of Stanislaus

$511,068

100

cid:20__=0ABBFCD2DFE3FDD18f9e8a93df938690@HUD.GOV

Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara

$241,947

25

cid:20__=0ABBFCD2DFE3FDD18f9e8a93df938690@HUD.GOV

Housing Authority of the City of Alameda

$555,588

50

cid:20__=0ABBFCD2DFE3FDD18f9e8a93df938690@HUD.GOV

Housing Authority of the County of Kern

$493,128

100

cid:20__=0ABBFCD2DFE3FDD18f9e8a93df938690@HUD.GOV

Sonoma County Community Development Commission

$383,880

50

cid:20__=0ABBFCD2DFE3FDD18f9e8a93df938690@HUD.GOV

Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara

$1,287,864

100

Delaware

Delaware State Housing Authority

$282,198

50

Florida

Lee County Housing Authority

$136,623

25

Illinois

DuPage Housing Authority

$737,776

79

Massachusetts

Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development

$487,284

50

Washington

Housing Authority of the City of Vancouver

$275,256

50

cid:20__=0ABBFCD2DFE3FDD18f9e8a93df938690@HUD.GOV

TOTAL

$5,392,612

679

###

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development ad enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

 
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