Aged Out/Cast Out: Foster Care Teens Face Housing Instability
New York, July 14, 2016—One in four young people aging out of foster care in New York City are likely to spend time in a homeless shelter within the next three years, according to a report released today by Columbia Law School’s Adolescent Representation Clinic (ARC), but “the problem of housing instability for youth aging out is manageable.”
- Let foster youth applying to NYCHA indicate that they are flexible on the location of housing sites and allow them to elect to live with their foster siblings; eliminate the practice of deeming foster youths’ applications “dead” during the waitlist period;
- Improve housing advice for foster youth; adjust the ACS housing subsidy from $300 per month (the same amount when the program was founded in the 1980s) to $850 a month to account for inflation and the higher cost of housing; and
- Give priority for City University of New York dorm housing to aging-out foster youth; and preserve NYCHA priority for foster youth attending college outside of New York City until after they finish their studies.
“For foster youth, completing a college degree is already a huge challenge,” says Jessica Maxwell, a former foster youth and the coordinator of the Fostering Youth Success Alliance at The Children’s Aid Society. “These young people are often working to cover gaps in tuition assistance while navigating college with little or no adult guidance. Adding on unstable housing conditions makes a difficult achievement that much harder…The Columbia Law School Adolescent Representation Clinic has offered some excellent recommendations and will help make a college degree within reach of the foster youth who could truly benefit from it.”