|Public Act 102-0083
AN ACT concerning education.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
This Act may be cited as the
Education Housing and Opportunities Act.
As used in this Act:
"Institution of higher education" or "institution" means
any publicly or privately operated university, college,
community college, business, technical, or vocational school,
or other educational institution offering degrees and
instruction beyond the secondary school level.
"Student experiencing homelessness" or "homeless student"
means an individual enrolled in an institution who lacks or is
at imminent risk of lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate
nighttime residence or whose parent or legal guardian is
unable or unwilling to provide shelter and care and includes a
homeless individual as defined under the federal
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. For the purposes of
this definition, the term "fixed, regular, and adequate
nighttime residence" does not include residence in an
institution of higher education's on-campus housing.
"Student in care" means any person, regardless of age, who
is or was under the care and legal custody of the Department of
Children and Family Services, including youth for whom the
Department has court-ordered legal responsibility, youth who
aged out of care at age 18 or older, or youth formerly under
care who have been adopted and were the subject of an adoption
assistance agreement or who have been placed in private
guardianship and were the subject of a subsidized guardianship
Housing and Opportunities that are Useful for
Students' Excellence (HOUSE) liaison.
(a) In an effort to provide assistance to students
experiencing homelessness, each institution of higher
education shall designate at least one staff member to serve
as a liaison to assist homeless students enrolled at the
institution. The designated staff member may be employed in
the office of financial aid, in campus housing services, or in
any other appropriate office or department as determined by
(b) The liaison designated under subsection (a) shall
offer assistance and resources to any homeless student or
student in care enrolled at the institution. The liaison shall
have all of the following responsibilities:
(1) To understand provisions pertaining to the
financial aid eligibility of homeless students, including
eligibility as an independent student under the federal
Higher Education Act of 1965.
(2) To identify services and resources that are
available to and appropriate for a homeless student.
(3) To assist a homeless student or student in care in
applying for and receiving federal and State financial aid
and available services.
(4) To track and monitor the graduation rate and
retention rate of homeless students and students in care
enrolled at the institution.
(5) To report annually to the Board of Higher
Education or the Illinois Community College Board, as
appropriate, the number of homeless students and students
in care enrolled at the institution. The report must
include the number of students who received assistance or
services through the liaison and the type of service or
assistance received by the student. If the information is
available, the report may describe the outcome for the
student as a result of the services or assistance he or she
received through the liaison.
(6) To act as an intermediary between a homeless
student or student in care and the office of financial
aid, student support services, and campus housing
(7) To connect a homeless student or student in care
to a local continuum of care program.
(8) To publish on the institution's website
information about the services and resources available
through the institution's liaison, as well as contact
information for local, State, and federal services.
(9) To develop a plan to provide access to on-campus
housing or to suitable off-campus housing between academic
breaks to homeless students or students in care enrolled
at the institution.
(10) To train the institution's employees to identify
students experiencing homelessness and to refer those
students to the liaison.
At his or her discretion, the liaison may provide any
additional service he or she reasonably believes is within the
purview of the role of liaison.
(c) The Board of Higher Education and the Illinois
Community College Board shall adopt rules, policies, and
procedures to implement and administer this Act. Each Board
(1) provide access to a training program developed by
a homeless advocacy organization;
(2) require a liaison to receive training on an annual
(3) collaborate with the State Coordinator for
McKinney-Vento Homeless Education and the contact liaisons
designated under Section 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii) of Title 42 of
the United States Code to facilitate the efficient
transition of homeless students from secondary to
postsecondary education and provide homeless students and
students in care information about support services,
including financial aid, on-campus and off-campus housing,
food and meal plan programs, and counseling services, and
other resources and any other relevant information to
assist these students; and
(4) issue annual reports about students experiencing
homelessness and students in care enrolled at academic
(d) After 3 academic years, if the data submitted to the
Board of Higher Education or the Illinois Community College
Board, as appropriate, indicates that the number of students
experiencing homelessness or the number of students in care
exceeds 2% or more of the student body of the institution, the
institution must create a position whose primary function is
to carry out the responsibilities of a liaison as described in
(e) Each institution that provides on-campus housing for
students enrolled at the institution shall:
(1) grant priority for on-campus housing to students
experiencing homelessness and students in care who are
enrolled at the institution, including, but not limited
to, access to on-campus housing that remains open during
academic breaks, and waive fees for the on-campus housing
during academic breaks;
(2) allow students experiencing homelessness and
students in care who are enrolled part-time at the
institution to access on-campus housing;
(3) provide information about the availability of
on-campus housing to students experiencing homelessness
and students in care; and
(4) provide information about the services and
assistance offered by the institution regarding
homelessness in financial aid packets and admission
packets and on the institution's website.
This Act takes effect August