Updated: Jul 16, 2019
Home is where we make memories. It’s where we raise our kids, dream our dreams, enjoy our retirement. It’s where we all, regardless of our race, or our immigration status deserve to feel safe and secure. A new proposal from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), would rip home away from tens of thousands of children and their families if it is allowed to go into effect.
At the direction of the White House, Secretary Ben Carson has issued a proposed rule at HUD that would evict existing mixed-status families from Section 8 and Public Housing. Mixed-status families are made up of members who are both eligible and ineligible for housing assistance based on their immigration status.
Under current law, a mixed-status family’s housing subsidy is decreased so ineligible members do not receive assistance. More importantly, being an ineligible immigrant is not the same as being an undocumented immigrant. There are many immigrants with legal status, such as individuals with employment and work visas, who do not qualify for HUD-assisted housing.
WHAT IS BEING PROPOSED
There is no public policy reason for this proposal. It is a blatantly cruel, xenophobic attempt to push over 100,000 people, including 55,000 children with legal status, out of their homes and leave them at risk of homelessness.
• The law already prohibits HUD funds from going to support the housing of ineligible immigrants. Right now, a family’s rent subsidy or voucher amount is calculated only on the eligible members of the household, which means mixed-status families are already more rent burdened than other families in subsidized housing.
• For Example: Now, for a mom on a student visa and her three U.S. citizen children living in a public housing apartment, their subsidy is set to account for only the three children, but their mother is allowed to live in the to apartment—unsubsidized.
• The new proposal would force families to make the impossible decision of either breaking up to ensure eligible members can continue to receive assistance or staying together and face eviction and potentially homelessness.
During the greatest national housing crisis in generations, this plan would cost HUD money and result in fewer people receiving housing assistance.
• Mixed-status families, families pay higher rents than families where all family members are eligible for a subsidy. HUD’s own analysis shows that if this rule went into effect, it would immediately cost up to $227 million per year in lost revenue to HUD.
• This immediate cost does not take into account the added costs of driving up homelessness or the incalculable cost to the families health and well-being.
• HUD’s own analysis shows they have no plan to account for the loss of revenue by any means other than cutting the number of vouchers, allowing units to go into greater disrepair and/or reducing the number public housing units.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. This is only a proposed rule and may never become a HUD policy. No one should leave or prepare to leave their homes out of fear of a rule that may never actually come to pass.
2. You can have your voice heard in this process. HUD is collecting public comment. Learn how below.
Visit: AllianceforHousingJustice.org/hud-mixed-status-rule to see sample comment language that was submitted.
Want to print this out? We have a one-page handout here.