Sen. Franken Seeks to Change Federal Rules that Force Homeless Young People to Choose Between Pursuing an Education and Having a Place to Live
Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) introduced legislation that would fix existing federal laws that have forced homeless young Minnesotans to choose between getting an education and living in low income federal housing. Sen. Franken has heard from a number of young Minnesotans who have been kept from attending school because federal laws prohibit them from enrolling while they live in federal low income housing - the only housing many of them can afford.
"I've met with some very impressive young Minnesotans who have overcome great obstacles in their lives - like poverty, homelessness, and a lack of a stable family support system - who, despite their situations, are striving to get an education." said Sen. Franken. "I've seen that often, low income federal housing is their only alternative to homelessness. But if they decide to go to school full time, they lose their housing benefits. We need to change that so that they can pursue an education and better their lives."
Currently, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program does not allow full-time students - including homeless and formerly homeless youth - to qualify for affordable housing. The Housing for Homeless Students Act would create an exemption under LIHTC for homeless people or those who have experienced homelessness in the five years prior to moving into a low income housing unit, allowing them to attend school full-time.
More information on the Housing for Homeless Students Act is available here.