Earlier in May, the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) proposed a new rule that would force 25,000 families of mixed immigration status who live in public housing or are in section 8 housing to either separate or face eviction. This would negatively impact many of the 1.9 million older adults, both U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike, who receive and depend on housing assistance to afford adequate shelter. At least 55,000 children, all of whom are citizens or legal immigrants are also at risk of becoming homeless.
This proposed policy is an attack on our immigrant families, older adults and communities. Under current rules, undocumented immigrants are already barred from receiving benefits, but the policy is such that families can stay together. If a family receives housing assistance yet one family member is undocumented, HUD reduces the housing assistance amount to omit that undocumented family member. Yet they are still allowed to live with their family.
Under the new proposed rules, all family members would have to be either U.S. citizens or legal residents to receive the subsidy and stay in their home. Otherwise they could all be separated or evicted.
This new proposed rule will continue to engender fear and chaos among immigrants and their families and elders and cause thousands of eligible families and older adults to forgo their housing assistance and face homelessness.
The proposed rule would also be administratively burdensome to implement for housing authorities and private owners of Section 8-assisted properties. Housing providers will be forced to focus their resources on terminating and evicting families, while diverting resources away from property maintenance and the employment-related resident services they already provide to pay for additional staff and regulatory compliance. These additional burdens could deter private housing providers from participating in the Section 8 programs, worsening the affordable housing crisis.
Please join us in telling the Department of Housing and Urban Development to oppose this harmful and cruel rule that could lead to the eviction of over 100,000 people, including older adults and children, from HUD-assisted housing. Comments are due by July 9, 2019.