Senator PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.
District 18 (Middlesex)
Senator JEFF VAN DREW
District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)
Senators Pennacchio and Singleton
Requires landlords to count federal military service member and veteran housing allowances as income for purposes of qualifying for rental housing; designated as Securing Electronic Records for Veterans Ease Act.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning federal military service member and veteran housing allowances and designated as the Securing Electronic Records for Veterans Ease Act, and supplementing chapter 8 of Title 46 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. A landlord, or any agent thereof, shall count a military or veteran housing allowance, supported by United States Department of Veterans Affairs documentation, as income for purposes of determining whether a qualified prospective tenant meets any minimum income qualifications to rent housing from the landlord.
b. As used in this section:
“Landlord” means any person who rents or leases or offers to rent or lease, for a term of at least one month, dwelling units.
“Military” means the Armed Forces of the United States, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, the National Guard and any other reserve component of the armed forces, and the merchant marine when organized under the federal law as a public military force.
“Military or veteran housing allowance” means any federal housing allowance or stipend provided to a service member of the military or a veteran, including, but not limited to, the basic allowance for housing authorized pursuant to 37 U.S.C. s.403 and the housing stipend authorized pursuant to 38 U.S.C. s.3313.
“Qualified prospective tenant” means any service member of the military or a veteran who is receiving a military or veteran housing allowance.
“Veteran" means a person who has served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill, designated as the Securing Electronic Records for Veterans Ease (“SERVE”) Act, would require landlords and their agents to count any federal military or veteran housing allowance as income when determining whether a prospective tenant who is a military service member or veteran meets any applicable minimum income qualifications to rent housing from the landlord. The SERVE Act bill would help military service members and veterans secure rental housing. In particular, this bill would be of benefit to full-time students who often have limited or no income.
In order to avail themselves of the provisions of this bill, a military service member or veteran would have to furnish documentation issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to the landlord that demonstrates they are receiving a federal military or veteran housing allowance.