The current LIHTC legislation aids affordable housing by cutting developers’ tax liability. However, the “student rule” excludes full-time students from living in LIHTC-funded properties, affecting those who currently are or have recently experienced homelessness. The Housing for Homeless Students Act provides an exception for these students and ensures all young people have access to both education and affordable housing to achieve their fullest potential and stop the cycle of homelessness.

U.S. Representatives Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) introduced the bipartisan Housing for Homeless Students Act (H.R. 7278) on Wednesday, February 7, 2024. This no-cost legislation will allow full-time students, including young people experiencing homelessness and veterans, to qualify to live in affordable housing built with the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC).

Too often, youth and young adults who have experienced homelessness must choose between stable housing or obtaining a full-time education. This bill addresses the current limitation in the eligibility to live in affordable housing built with LIHTC, where individuals who are experiencing or have experienced homelessness who would otherwise qualify to live in low-income housing are not eligible for LIHTC units if they attend school full-time.

Education has a powerful role to play in preventing and ending youth homelessness. By fixing the “student rule”, this bill means that many young people who have experienced homelessness will no longer have to choose between stable housing or obtaining a full-time education. Passing the Housing for Homeless Students Act is critical to preventing and ending youth homelessness and supporting survivors of trafficking.