Bill Would Update Current Rules to Make Sure Struggling Students Can Access Affordable Housing While Pursuing Education
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Angus King (I-ME) introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure students are not forced to choose between housing or pursuing an education. The Housing for Homeless Students Act would update current law to ensure students, including veterans, who have experienced homelessness or are currently homeless, can access affordable housing while pursuing their educations.
Currently, individuals pursuing full-time education are not eligible for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and can lose access to scholarships and grants if they switch to part-time education in order to retain access to affordable housing.
“Students and veterans who have experienced homelessness shouldn’t be forced to choose between pursuing an education and access to affordable housing,” said Brown. “I’m proud to work with Senators King and Portman to ensure the housing tax credit works for students investing in their futures.”
The LIHTC Program provides tax incentives to developers who build or rehabilitate affordable housing units. Currently, the program does not allow tenants enrolled in the program to be full-time students. If students pursue a part-time education, they risk losing out on scholarships and grants available only to full-time students. The original intent of the rule was to prevent LIHTC funding from being used to construct student housing for students who have temporarily low-incomes at the expense of low-income families with long-term needs. However, current law provides no exception for homeless or formerly-homeless students.
The Housing for Homeless Students Act would also benefit homeless veterans and young people who age out of foster care, who often experience higher rates of homelessness and unemployment.
As chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Brown has pushed for continued investment in housing and communities across the country, to help ensure every Ohioan has a place to call home.