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March 7, 2006

Pryce, DeWine Seek Housing
Fix for Disabled Students

Washington , DC - Today, Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (R-Upper Arlington) and Senator Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) introduced legislation in both the House (H.R. 5117) and the Senate to remedy a law negatively impacting disabled students living in government subsidized housing.

Amid reports that wealthy students were taking advantage of a loophole in Section 8 regulations by living in housing designated for the poor, last year Congress passed legislation requiring that family income and government assistance be used as part of the eligibility equation for Section 8 applicants. 

The new law unintentionally affected Creative Living, a housing complex for the disabled near The Ohio State University, and seven Creative Living residents could lose their Section 8 housing eligibility.  Congresswoman Pryce and Senator DeWine have introduced legislation exempting disabled students from the new eligibility requirements.

"I was stunned to learn of the impact on the residents at Creative Living," Pryce said.  "Certainly, these ramifications were not the intent of the legislation, nor discussed amid consideration of the bill.  Senator DeWine and I will work diligently to push this important remedy through both Houses of Congress to ensure a minimal disruption in the lives of Creative Living's student residents."  

“People with disabilities deserve every opportunity to pursue higher education,” said Senator DeWine. “Our legislation would ensure that they have access to the quality, affordable housing they need to realize their academic goals.  Our bill would help students at Creative Living in Ohio as well as students with disabilities across the country. Congresswoman Pryce and I will work with our colleagues in both houses of Congress to pass this legislation as soon as possible.”  

Said Pryce, "The legislative remedy we are seeking is relatively straightforward:  the disabled would be among those exempted from the eligibility equation for Section 8 housing along with veterans, parents, and families.  We are currently looking for legislation to which we can attach our language - preferably, a bill facing little resistance, and one that is certain reach the President's desk quickly."

Congressmen Pat Tiberi ( R-Genoa Township), Dave Hobson (R-Springfield), Bob Ney (R-Heath) and Jim Leach (R-Iowa) are original cosponsors of the House version of the bill; Senators George Voinovich (R-OH), Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) are original cosponsors in the Senate.