Housing for Homeless Students Act Introduced

Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA) introduced the “Housing for Homeless Students Act” (H.R. 5290), which would allow full-time students who are or recently have been homeless to qualify for rental housing financed through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.

Students are currently not allowed to be the leaseholder of a LIHTC-financed housing unit. The prohibition was established to ensure that tax credits are not used to finance the development of university dormitories. Recognizing that the prohibition had impacts not originally intended, Congress has enacted a number of exceptions, including for youth aging out of foster care and for individuals enrolled in job training programs.

H.R. 5290 would exempt individuals from the student rule if they were homeless at any time in the previous seven years and met the definition of “homeless children and youth” under the McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act. The bill also exempts veterans pursuing full-time education, provided they were homeless at any point in the five years prior to moving into their LIHTC unit.

The bill currently has three cosponsors and was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. An identical version of the bill was introduced in the Senate in May of 2015 and was referred to the Committee on Finance.

See the full text of the bill at: http://1.usa.gov/1Y4Kphp