On Monday, October 28, Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) introduced the Housing for Homeless Students Act, H.R. 4865. H.R. 4865 is the House companion bill to bipartisan Senate legislation, S.767, introduced earlier this year by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Angus King (I-ME).
The Housing for Homeless Students Act would update the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program to allow full-time students to live in LIHTC housing if they’ve experienced homelessness within the last seven years. The bill also includes homeless or formerly homeless veterans pursuing full-time education.
The LIHTC Program provides a reduction in an owner’s tax liability for those who construct or rehabilitate low-income rental housing units. Currently, the program does not allow tenants enrolled in the program to be full-time students. Exceptions are made for part-time students, former foster youth, married students, TANF recipients, and several other student groups. However, homeless and formerly homeless youth are not exempt. These youth must choose between housing and pursuing education full-time. If they switch to part-time education in order to retain access to affordable housing, they lose access to scholarships and grants.
Please take one minute to contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative so that homeless youth don’t have to choose between a place to live, and the education that is their best hope of a brighter, more secure future.