The Independent Youth Housing Program provides rental assistance and case management services to eligible youth who have aged out of the Washington State foster care system.
Who is administering this program?
This program is administered by the Department of Commerce. There are 5 contracted agencies providing the IYHP. This program is presently available in the following regions:
- Region 1 – Spokane County (Volunteers of America)
- Region 2 – Benton, Franklin, Kittitas, Walla Walla, and Yakima Counties (Catholic Charities)
- Region 4 – King County (YMCA)
- Region 5 – Pierce County (Pierce County Alliance)
- Region 6 – Lewis and Thurston Counties (Community Youth Services)
What are the program goals?
- To make sure that all youth aging out of the foster care system in Washington State have access to a SAFE and AFFORDABLE place to live so that they will not experience homelessness
- Help prepare foster youth to become independent and self-sufficient so that over time they will be less dependent on state assistance.
Who is eligible?
Foster youth who on or after September 1, 2006 meet the following criteria:
- 18 years of age or older
- Was a dependent of the state of Washington under Chapter 13.34 RCW within four months before the youth’s 18th birthday
- Have not yet reached the age of 23
- Is a Washington resident
Priority will be given to youth who were dependents of the state for at least one year.
Youth participating in Extended Foster Care are not eligible for this housing program as they are still considered under the care and authority of DCYF. Youth can be eligible once they exit Extended Foster Care.
What services are offered?
Youth may receive the following services:
- Monthly rent
- Utility payments (gas and electricity)
- Move in costs (such as first and last month’s rent, security deposits)
- Cost for credit checks
- Cost for parking (if not included in rent and one is needed)
What is necessary to enroll in this program?
- Accept and participate in case management
- Verify their sources of income
- Work on Independent Living goals
- Contribute part of their income to help pay for rent (up to 30%). Minimum amount paid toward rent will be one dollar.
- Participate in an Individual Development Account or other savings plan (if income exceeds 50% of median income)