Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) has secured 25 vouchers through a new federal housing grant to assist young adults ages 18-24 who have aged out of the foster care system.
The organization recently applied for the Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) grant – which is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – and earned funding based on KCDC’s track record of Section 8 housing success and its working relationship with the Department of Children’s Services (DCS).
“The Foster Youth to Independence vouchers allow us to serve an especially vulnerable population and offer young people a path to achieve self-sufficiency,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said. “The Section 8 team at KCDC has developed a strong relationship with the local Department of Children’s Services, which is necessary for this program to work effectively since DCS makes the referrals directly to KCDC.”
The program is similar to the Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers, which KCDC qualified for in 2018 through a competitive process. The housing agency’s 100 percent leasing rate in the relatively new FUP enabled KCDC to earn the grant award for FYI.
The FYI initiative makes Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) assistance available to Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) in partnership with Public Child Welfare Agencies (PCWAs).
The FYI vouchers can subsidize appropriate housing for up to three years for young adults who are homeless or at risk to be homeless after exiting foster care. Under the terms of the program, youth also will be provided supportive services such as basic life skills and educational and career counseling.
For more information about Section 8 affordable housing in Knoxville and Knox County, contact KCDC’s Section 8 Housing office at 865-403-1234.