House Unanimously Passes Kildee Legislation to Protect Student Veterans' Housing
The U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation introduced by Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) that protects student veterans' housing to ensure that they get the G.I. benefits that they have earned. Congressman Kildee introduced the legislation after ITT Technical Institute abruptly closed, which put thousands of veterans and their educational and housing benefits at risk.
Congressman Kildee's bill passed today as part of H.R. 3218, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, of which he is a cosponsor, by a vote of 405-0.
In September of 2016, ITT Technical Institute (ITT Tech) shut down 136 campuses in 38 states, including Michigan, after a U.S. Department of Education investigation found deceptive and predatory practices by the for-profit college. ITT Tech's closure particularly affected veterans, leaving them not only without a school, but also putting them at risk of losing their housing benefits, which were contingent on a veteran being enrolled in an education program. Under current law, there are no protections for veterans who are the victims of an abrupt school closure.
Under Congressman Kildee's legislation, veterans could keep their G.I. benefits, including their housing allowance, for up to four months if their school closes unexpectedly. His legislation passed the House tonight as part of H.R. 3218, which would expand and improve G.I. Bill benefits, significantly increasing education benefits for veterans and their families.
"When ITT Technical Institute abruptly closed its doors and left veterans in fear of losing their housing, I knew Congress needed to act," Congressman Kildee said. "Veterans should not lose their G.I. benefits or housing allowance because a for-profit school closed through no fault of their own. Veterans have earned their G.I. benefits by sacrificing for our country. We should do everything we can to support them-- not make it harder for them to advance their education or keep a roof over their head."
Congressman Kildee's legislation is his latest action in a series of efforts to support service members and veterans. Earlier this year, Kildee introduced a comprehensive bill package aimed at addressing many of the critical issues service members face, including combatting suicide rates in the military, increasing financial literacy and ensuring affordable housing.