Due to the end of the war in Iraq, thousands of military professionals have been discharged from their current brand of service. These patriotic service professionals, who have served our country tirelessly, now must venture out to find new careers. Many will return to college or vocational school for retraining and education. History shares with us that often times when there is a large group of professionals in need of rehab or retraining, few of us consider where these individuals will live as they embark on their new journey. It goes without saying that this housing needs to be affordable, safe, and sanitary, while still in close proximity to their school. These conditions will foster an environment for these veterans to flourish and to obtain the education essential to start their new career.
On March 20th, we received notification from The Florida Housing Finance Corporation that if an individual is benefiting from the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) this shall be considered similar to the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). The VRAP offers up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed veterans who:
• Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
• Are unemployed on the date of application
• Received an other than dishonorable discharge
• Are not to be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
• Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to un-employability
• Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program
As a result, veterans participating in the VRAP are provided the exception to the fulltime student household rule and will be considered qualified to live in a Housing Credit unit, as well as the other affordable housing programs that Florida Housing offers. Florida Housing, as a policy, will not consider a household in noncompliance with the student rule if the student occupant is enrolled in VRAP and documentation of such program participation is in the resident file.
Please be aware that this decision is not binding on the IRS, and may not effect your state. Therefore, when determining if a household is qualified in your state, it is always recommended that you check with the state agency in which the household will reside.
This is exciting news for our property owners, as well as the veterans that live and work in our communities. Our veterans will have access to necessary living conditions while they receive the training necessary to begin or to resume their civilian careers.