Independent Youth Housing Program
The Independent Youth Housing Program (IYHP) provides rental assistance and case management for eligible youth who have aged out of the state foster care system.
These funds are intended to assist in meeting the state goal of ensuring that all such youth avoid experiencing homelessness by having access to a decent, appropriate, and affordable homes in a healthy, safe environment.
Participating youth must meet the following criteria to be eligible for assistance:
Participants must be at least 18 years of age, must have been a dependent of the state at any time during the four-month period preceding his or her eighteenth birthday, and must have not yet reached the age of 23. Priority must be given to individuals who were dependents of the state for at least one year.
At entry, a youth's income may not exceed 50 percent of the local Area Median Income (AMI) as published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Youth whose incomes exceed 50 percent of the local AMI after becoming a participant in the IYHP may continue to receive rent assistance provided he or she participates in the Individual Development Account program established under RCW 43.31.460 or another supervised savings program.
Income eligibility must be reevaluated at least twice annually.
The Department of Commerce contracts with five agencies to provide program services: Catholic Family and Child Service (CFCS), serving Benton, Franklin and Yakima Counties; Community Youth Services (CYS), serving Lewis and Thurston Counties; Pierce County Alliance (PCA), serving Pierce County; Volunteers of America (VOA), serving Spokane County; and YMCA of Greater Seattle (YMCA), serving King County.
The current biennial funding level for the program is $1.8 million dollars.