In the 2022-23 California State Budget, JBAY successfully advocated for funding to improve college retention and degree completion for foster youth, provide safe, stable housing for former foster youth, increase economic security for current and former foster youth, and reduce youth homelessness.
$25.3 Million to Expand Stable, Supportive Housing for Former Foster Youth
JBAY successfully advocated for $25.3 million to increase the annual budget for the Transitional Housing Program from $8 million to $33.3 million. This investment will result in supportive housing for an additional 800 youth. A portion of this expansion will fund new policy changes which increase the upper age limit and program length for county-funded transitional housing programs so that youth can access the programs until they turn 25 instead of 24, and for up to 3 years instead of 2.
$8.7 Million to Help Current and Former Foster Youth Locate and Secure Housing
JBAY successfully advocated for $8.7 million to increase the annual budget for the Housing Navigation and Maintenance Program (HNMP) from $5 million to $13.7 million. This investment was accompanied by an increase to the upper age limit from 21 to 24 in order to align HNMP eligibility with specialized federal Housing Choice Voucher programs which require, yet currently lack housing navigation services. With this additional funding, HNMP will help at least 870 additional youth locate and secure housing, including former foster youth with housing vouchers.
$48 Million for Foster Youth College Support Programs
JBAY successfully advocated for funding for campus support programs for foster youth across all three public postsecondary systems. This includes a $30 million augmentation for NextUp, $12 million at CSUs and $6 million at UCs.
$21 Million to Reduce Poverty Among Current and Former Foster Youth
JBAY advocated for $21 million to establish the Foster Youth Tax Credit, a $1,000 refundable tax credit. Approximately 32,000 youth will benefit from the credit each year who are between the ages 18 through 25 and were in foster care on or after age 13.
$112 Million to Reduce Youth Homelessness in California
JBAY successfully advocated for additional investment in the Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) program, resulting in $1 billion programmed for 2023-24, $100 million of which will be directed to address youth homelessness through the program’s 10% “youth set-aside.” This follows the $1 billion investment appropriated in last year’s budget for 2022-23. California’s Homekey program which provides funding for capital development was also expanded by $150 million, $12 million of which will be available for projects serving youth through the program’s 8% youth set-aside. This follows the $1.3 billion investment appropriated in last year’s budget for 2022-23, bringing the 2022-23 investment to $1.45 billion overall, and $116 million specifically for youth.