Reps. Wenstrup, Fudge Introduce Legislation to Make Collegiate Housing More Affordable

Washington, June 11, 2020 Contact: Chris Krepich (202-225-3164)

Today, Reps. Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M. (OH-2) and Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) introduced the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act to improve the affordability and safety of student housing. The bill updates the tax code to enable not-for-profit student housing organizations to use tax-deductible donations to build, maintain or improve student housing.

"Congress must look at the root causes that drive the college affordability crisis, including the rise of housing costs. By fixing an arbitrary distinction in our tax code, we can make collegiate housing more affordable, support small businesses, and improve the overall safety of campuses," said Congressman Wenstrup. "This legislation has enjoyed wide bipartisan support in the past as well as the backing from over 100 colleges and universities, and it is a solid first step we can take as we seek bipartisan solutions to our larger affordability problem. I'm proud to join Congresswoman Fudge in introducing this bill and urge congressional leaders to bring it up for consideration."

“For many students, room and board account for a significant portion of college costs,” said Congresswoman Fudge. “On campuses across the country, non-profit groups like fraternities and sororities help to improve student access to affordable housing options. However, these organizations are unable to use donations in the same way as colleges and universities to expand their offerings or make upgrades such as installing fire sprinklers and alarm systems. By addressing these discrepancies, the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act would help to lower the cost of housing for students and improve their safety and living conditions on campus.”

While colleges and universities can use charitable contributions to construct new buildings or make safety improvements, the tax code currently prevents other not-for-profit student housing entities, such as fraternities and sororities, from doing the same. By eliminating this arbitrary distinction, the bill enables fraternal organizations and other educational groups to install safety equipment, construct new housing, and help students lower their college costs.

The bill text for the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act is available here.