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More than 30,000 people and groups submitted public comments to oppose the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) plan to cut off federal housing aid and evict “mixed-status” immigrant families.
That is the most comments HUD ever received on a plan. The prior record was 1,000 comments.
Several groups led the response. National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and the National Housing Law Project (NHLP) led a Keep Families Together campaign. Salud America!’s letter campaign was signed by 3,382 of its network members and filed as a comment!
Many comments denounced HUD’s plan as a “ruthless” attempt to break up immigrant families.
“It’s unbelievably cruel that we have come to this, that the whole family suffers because one or maybe more are not U.S. citizens,” said Mary Lou Ramirez in a comment.
Why is this Important?
This rule would make changes to the Section 8 program on public housing by removing aid and evicting families that contain one or more members who don’t have certain residency documents.
It could potentially impact over 100,000 people, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Those individuals, who are U.S. citizens, would have to choose between splitting up their families or falling into homelessness.
“HUD’s proposed rule change is a radical and cruel departure from the agency’s longstanding policy, and its implementation would be contrary to Congress’s express intent to keep families together,” SPLC states in their letter to HUD. “The effects of this proposed rule, if enacted, will be particularly devastating for children, immigrant populations, and other vulnerable or exploited populations that the SPLC works to protect.”
There was remarkable opposition to this rule, including Attorneys General from 23 states submitted comments sharing their concern.
The last time a HUD proposal garnered this amount of public attention over a proposal was concerning the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule in 2013, which had over 1,000 comments.
What Happens Next?
HUD will review the public comments and other document information before making a final decision. The federal government made only 10,386 of the 30,447 comments available to the public.
Still, if the plan moves ahead, there could be immediate action to oppose this legislation further.
In their comment, the coalition of Attorneys General stated that “the Proposed Rule, if finalized, would violate federal law, displace tens of thousands of eligible children and families from their homes without basis, and cause extensive harm.”
We appreciate our network, national partners, and other philanthropy-serving organizations and their support. We believe that all individuals in our communities need access to a safe, affordable place to call home.
Check out more stories on affordable housing! Also, read our most recent research review on the state of housing, transportation, and green space affects health.
Learn More: Affordable Housing!
By The Numbers
of Latinos are "housing cost burdened"