The Independent Youth Housing Program provides rental assistance and case management services to eligible youth who have aged out of the 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); Benton, Franklin, Kittitas, Walla Walla, and Yakima Counties (Catholic Family & Child Service)
- Region 2 – King County (YMCA)
- Region 3 – Pierce County (Pierce County Alliance); 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 in the month before his or her 18th birthday
- Have not yet reached the age of 23
- Total income does not exceed 50% of the area median income
Priority will be given to youth who were dependents of the state for at least one year.
Youth participating in the HB 2002- Foster Care to 21 program are not eligible for this housing program as they are receiving housing assistance through their foster care payment. Youth can be eligible once they exit the Foster Care to 21 program.
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)
- Case management services
What is necessary to enroll in this program?
- Accept and participate in case management
- Verify their sources of income
- Contribute part of their income to help pay for rent (up to 30%). Minimum amount paid toward rent will be one dollar.
- Develop a youth-driven Safety and Independent Living Plan to include taking the Ansell Casey Life Skills Assessment (ACLSA)
- Participate in an Individual Development Account or other savings plan (if income exceeds 50% of median income)
- Sign program compliance agreement and follow rules of program
Do you have questions?