Proposed HUD Rule Would Separate Families or Evict Them

HUD’s proposed mixed-status family proposed rule Does not alleviate the affordable housing crisis

On May 10, 2019, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a proposed rule. This proposed rule would prohibit “mixed-status families” from living in public and other subsidized housing. Mixed-status families are households that include members who are eligible and others who are ineligible for housing assistance based on their immigration status.

Currently, HUD allows families to live together in subsidized housing even if one family member is ineligible so long as the housing subsidy is prorated to exclude the ineligible person from the assistance. Importantly, just because a household member is an “ineligible” immigrant, it doesn’t mean that they are undocumented. Immigrants can have legal status and still not be eligible to receive housing assistance.

Families with members who are deemed ineligible will be evicted from subsidized housing after 18 months or sooner. The proposal would also threaten housing assistance for millions of households that remain eligible for assistance and consist only of U.S. citizens or eligible immigrants. It would require tens of thousands of housing agencies and private property owners to collect documents “proving” the citizenship of more than 9 million assisted residents. 

These assisted residents have already attested, under penalty of perjury, that they are U.S. citizens, as well as the citizenship of future applicants for assistance. And it would require some 120,000 elderly immigrants to submit documents indicating their status. If individuals are unable to produce these documents in the timeframe permitted, they can lose their housing assistance and, in turn, lose their homes. 

“The cruelty of Secretary Carson’s proposal is breathtaking, and the harm it would inflict on children, families and communities is severe,” said National Low Income Housing Coalition President and CEO Diane Yentel. “Tens of thousands of deeply poor kids, mostly US citizens, could be evicted and made homeless by this proposal, and – by HUD’s own admission – there would be zero benefit to families on waiting lists. This proposal is another in a long line of attempts by the administration to instill fear in immigrants throughout the country. We will not stand for it.”

“The administration’s proposal would break up families and cause thousands of citizens and eligible immigrants to lose their homes,” said Center on Budget and Policy Priorities President Robert Greenstein. “Contrary to the administration’s rhetoric, it wouldn’t free up resources to provide housing assistance to more Americans or reduce spending on housing assistance.”

“This proposed rule would threaten the stability of American citizens and their family members,” said Enterprise Community Partners Senior Vice President for Public Policy Marion McFadden. “HUD should not be in the business of furthering homelessness. We join our partners in opposing the proposed changes and urge the administration to focus on efficient and equitable ways to serve low-income communities.”

On July 24, 2019, Monarch Housing Associates and our over 24 partner organizations will be in Washington, DC for our annual Congressional Reception. The theme of this year’s Congressional Reception is Opportunity Starts at Home: Building a Necessary and Secure Foundation for Healthy Communities.

Click here to read more on HUD’s plan from Citylab.