Rep. Watson Coleman Introduces Homes for Young Adults Act

Alejandro Carranza
Spinnaker Government Relations
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman speaking outside at podium.

On June 12th, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman from New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District introduced the Homes for Young Adults Act. The bill would create a new entitlement under Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 — the Housing Choice Voucher program — specifically targeted for young people who are unstably housed or experiencing homelessness.

Specifically, this bill would:

  • Provide assistance under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 for each qualified individual, as well as cover administrative fees in connection with each voucher for assistance provided, while centering the choice of the voucher holder;
  • Expand the definition of young adults to include those who may be single or parenting between the ages of 18-30, respectively, as well as those aging out of foster care or other youth-serving systems and unaccompanied minors, under applicable state law; and
  • Establish an allowance for an Ombudsman to mediate between a landlord and a tenant should discriminatory issues arise.

The introduction of the Homes for Young Adults Act is a positive and significant step in improving housing availability, stability, and support for vulnerable young adults. Thanks to the incredible work of our partners at A Way Home America, the bill will help to change the conversation on Capitol Hill about expanding Section 8 benefits to young people. Doing so would increase the likelihood of fairer treatment in the housing market, helping young adults to be set up to succeed. 

The bill has only just been introduced, and there remains a long path ahead before the legislation is anywhere close to being enacted into law. Nonetheless, its introduction changes the conversation in Congress and should be viewed as a very positive step in the right direction. Youth Collaboratory is supportive of the bill’s introduction and will be fully endorsing and supporting the Homes for Young Adults Act as it moves through Congress.