Worth looking at

One popular housing program for low-income Americans has a provision that, at first glance, makes a lot of sense. It stipulates that people living in certain housing units meant for low-income tenants cannot be full-time students. If they switch to part-time status to keep their low-cost housing, they risk loss of student financial aid.

Taxpayers should not subsidize housing for most people who, because they chose to be full-time students, do not have income-producing jobs.

But U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, have a concern about the rule. They have proposed it be changed so it does not apply to full-time students who are homeless or have been during recent years.

Why discourage those who, by their very homelessness or previous experience with it, are trying to improve their educations to get jobs, the two senators wonder. They think such people should be able to get both low-cost housing and student aid.

Providing their bill has safeguards to keep unscrupulous students from gaming the system, it is worth a look. They are right that those who have experienced homelessness may need more help, not less.

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