Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act (H.R. 4300, S. 2803)

U.S. Senate bill: S. 2803, sponsored by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) — Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act

Committees:

Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Status:

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing on S. 2803, on November 7, 2019, and the bill was favorably remarked upon by Senators on both sides of the political divide. Predictions of a quick Banking Committee mark up, however, went unfulfilled.

U.S. House bill: H.R. 4300, sponsored by Representative Madeleine Dean (D-PA-4) — Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act

Committees:

House Committee on Financial Services

Status:

The bill was approved, 47-0, by the House Committee on Financial Services, on September 20, 2019, and then considered under suspension by the entire House on November 18, 2019, when it passed by voice-vote.

Impact

The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act (H.R. 4300, S. 2803) would offer three-year Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers to all young people who are between the ages of 18 and 24, who are leaving foster care, and who are at risk of homelessness—with the opportunity to extend those vouchers by two years (for a total of five years) through voluntary participation in self-sufficiency activities.  The House bill passed without opposition.  The Senate bill was favorably assessed by Republicans and Democrats alike at an October 7 Banking Committee hearing. 

As many as 20,000 youths across America age out of foster care every year. For a few, this passage into adulthood can be problematic. The loss of social supports can put more vulnerable youths at risk of homelessness and housing instability. Historically, the FUP has helped many youths to be housed. However, the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act would expand FUP to ensure that youths, regardless of where they lived, would be able to use the program’s Housing Choice Vouchers–and without languishing on waiting lists.

H.R. 4300/S. 2803 would offer three-year FUP vouchers to all young people who are between the ages of 18 and 24 and leaving foster care who are at risk of homelessness—with the opportunity to extend those vouchers by two years (for a total of five years) by voluntarily participating in self-sufficiency activities. Under H.R. 4300/S. 2803, any public housing agency could request a voucher from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, not just those public housing agencies that have already been awarded FUP vouchers.

In December 26, 2019, correspondence, NAEH urged Senators to continue the bipartisan work begun by the House to help the foster youths who are not able to be served by FUP as it is currently established and quickly pass S. 2308. Foster youths transitioning to adulthood sometimes need a helping hand at a critical point in their lives. Whether they get that helping hand may well determine whether they can become healthy citizens who are able to lead meaningful and productive lives. As sponsor Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) remarked upon introduction of S. 2803, “We know that housing is everything. It’s a foundation for opportunity. Without safe, clean affordable housing, it’s darn near impossible to hold down a job or pursue a degree or build a life for yourself.”

 

Summary

Activists are asked to urge their Senators to cosponsor S. 2803, particularly if they serve on the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

See All Legislation