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May 24, 2006

Committee Approves Pryce’s
Housing Fix for Disabled Students

Washington , DC - Today, Congresswoman Deborah Pryce’s (R-Upper Arlington) legislation to remedy a law negatively impacting disabled students living in government subsidized housing was unanimously approved by the Financial Services Committee.  Locally, the bill, H.R. 5117, will benefit students living at Creative Living near The Ohio State University whose housing status was jeopardized by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rules attempting to eliminate loopholes in Section 8 eligibility criteria.

“I am thrilled that we were able to move quickly to fix this unintended consequence of federal law,” said Pryce.  “While it was both appropriate and necessary that Congress closed loopholes in the Section 8 program, disabled students are dependent on the program and were unintentionally impacted by the reforms.  H.R. 5117 rights this wrong, and I will continue to urge for its expedited consideration to ensure a minimal disruption in the lives of Creative Living's student residents."  

Amid reports that wealthy students and collegiate athletes on scholarships 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 disabled students residing at Creative Living, a housing complex near The Ohio State University, and residents could lose their Section 8 housing eligibility.  Congresswoman Pryce’s bill exempts disabled students from the new eligibility requirements, and Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) has sponsored a similar effort in the Senate.

Earlier this week, Pryce led a letter to Appropriations Committee Chairmen in the House and Senate asking that H.R. 5117 be included in the Conference Report for the FY06 Supplemental Appropriations bill to ensure its timely consideration.  Said Pryce, “As this cloud of uncertainty hangs over the heads of Creative Living residents, I have sought a legislative vehicle 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 H.R. 5117; Senators George Voinovich (R-OH), Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) are original cosponsors of the Senate bill, S. 2591.