A US Air Force veteran attending a university in New York City receives $3,600 a month in Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance- but nobody wanted to accept it.
31-year-old Alex Donahue moved to the city in 2016 in order to attend the City University of New York, only to find that most landlords wouldn’t accept the GI Bill.
“I’d heard the city runs on money, and I came here with that thought: If it’s income, it’s income,” he told the New York Times. “But I was turned away from place after place because my tax returns said zero.”
With no income reported on his tax return, many landlords outright rejected his applications for rental, confusing the GI Bill housing allowance for a temporary welfare program, rather than part of a benefits package.
Incidentally, refusing veterans from renting on the grounds of the GI Bill is a crime.
Despite being able to pay the rent and all that comes with renting a home, Donahue soon found himself in a shelter for homeless veterans.
“It was a pretty nice at the shelter, which was set up like apartments with individual rooms,” Donahue told the New York Times, noting that he eventually worked with the NYC Department of Veterans’ Services to get a $1,500-per-month studio in Queens.
Eventually, Donahue would move into a three-bedroom with two other roommates, paying $875 a month, plus utilities.
Finding roommates that fit his lifestyle was a challenge, but he seems pretty content.
“I knew exactly what I wanted. But it’s not common to find anyone who doesn’t drink or smoke,” Donahue said. “Here, we’re all on the same wavelength.”
According to a Facebook post, Donahue’s usual day begins at 5 in the morning and ends at 11 PM, with most of his time spent in school or at the gym.
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