The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported this week that more than 55,000 children living in the U.S. legally may be displaced by the government’s new plan to kick undocumented immigrants out of public housing, according to media. This new HUD rule, published on Friday, comes on the heels of HUD Secretary Ben Carson announcing last month that tightening regulations on undocumented citizens who are currently living in subsidized HUD housing would ensure that “our scarce public resources help those who are legally entitled to it.” But the new plan may end up costing the government more instead of conserving resources, HUD says.
After reviewing the proposed rule, HUD found that around 50 percent of those who would face eviction under Washington’s new plan are children and legally qualified for assistance. Under the current rule, families with “mixed” immigration statuses qualify for housing assistance if at least one member of the family meets the eligibility guidelines. The new rule proposes that all members of the household must have eligible immigration status to qualify.
HUD says that around 108,000 people living in 25,000 households have at least one member that would make them ineligible. Currently, there are around 76,000 people in mixed households, including 55,000 children, who meet the legal eligibility requirements under the old rule. HUD analysts say that most mixed households would simply evacuate their public housing units due to fear of being separated from family members. If families can’t find alternative housing, then temporary homelessness may result.
New Rule Would Cost Government More
Most of the mixed status households receiving federal housing subsidies receive around $8,400 annually in assistance. HUD says that if aid is restricted to families where all members meet eligibility requirements, then entire families would receive more in subsidy dollars, costing the government more than the current setup. Analysts for HUD estimate that the heightened cost would range from $193 to $227 million per year.
HUD says that Congress is unlikely to appropriate additional funds, which would force the agency to reduce the quality and quantity of assisted housing overall. HUD says that the outcome would likely be fewer households being served by its rental assistance program known as Housing Choice.
The plan also proposes a different option that might limit the adverse effects on eligible children. This alternative option would be to allow families of mixed status to continue receiving assistance and apply the new rule only to future applicants.
Familia America Immigration and our team of Salt Lake City family immigration attorneys continue to fight for the rights of immigrants and asylees in Utah and elsewhere. Whether you’re dealing with a DACA issue, a deportation threat or green card concern, contact our office right away to speak to a knowledgeable and compassionate team member. Dial 801-656-9605 to discuss your situation with our Salt Lake City family immigration team and arrange a consultation and case review at no cost to you.