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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is trying to cut off federal housing aid and evict “mixed-status” immigrant families.
HUD is proposing a rule change to the Section 8 program on public housing, published in the federal registrar May 10, that would remove aid and evict families with one or more members who don’t have certain residency documents, according to the National Housing Law Project (NHLP), which is organizing a commenting campaign.
The move could displace thousands of families and children, who could become separated from their families or homeless.
“If this rule is passed will affect more than 25,000 families and more than 55,000 children across the country,” said Diane Yentel, NHLP’s president and CEO.
Fortunately, you can speak up to HUD by July 9.
I do not support any government agency’s attempt to cut off aid and evict American families, including those of “mixed-status.” We cannot allow our people of color, LGBTQ+ neighbors, or any American not to have access to potentially life-saving housing programs, such as those found under Section 8.
Denying access to vitally needed subsidized housing will severely impact the Latino community, who are suffering under current and past immigration policies. This rule would displace 55,000 children and a total of 108,000 people. Despite the current administration’s claims, our country’s undocumented immigrants are not taking up space that could serve other families — considering at least one member must be a documented American.
Taking away this opportunity for “mixed-status” families would only go to punish our citizens and increase homelessness, and is therefore wrong. I urge HUD not to enact such a family-endangering rule.
The Proposed Rule Change and Its Impacts
This legislation would affect U.S. citizens.
Over nine million citizens and 120,000 elderly immigrants are currently receiving housing assistance.
If the rule passes, all assistance recipients younger than 62 will be required to provide proof of citizenship or immigration status for the first time — or risk losing their subsidies and facing homelessness.
“With this proposed change, the Trump administration will unjustly punish mixed-status immigrant families that are only exercising their federal right to access subsidized housing,” NHLP write. “Family unity is a fundamental American value and a cornerstone of our immigration system. The proposed rule is an attempt to sever these critical familial bonds, and it will force many families to choose between being torn apart and homelessness.”
Many of these tenants, who are elderly or have disabilities, face tremendous obstacles in accessing this kind of documentation, according to NHLP.
Worse, this rule could lead to the eviction of over 108,000 people from HUD-assisted housing, according to the New York Times.
Even further, the administration is also trying to limit homeless shelter’s abilities to assist members of the LGBTQ+ community.
How You Can Help
You can sign the letter to HUD by July 9.
You can also submit a formal public comment on the federal registrar’s website.
NHLP and the National Low Income Housing Coalition also are enabling people to raise their voice against the bill.
Speak up here and use #KeepFamiliesTogether on social media to join their efforts.
Also, the Keeping Families Together Act of 2019, sponsored by Texas Rep. Sylvia Garcia, would block HUD from implementing the regulation, according to Vice News.
“Rather than helping our immigration enforcement efforts, this cruel and shameless proposed rule will significantly harm already impoverished children and pass on significant costs to taxpayers,” Garcia said in a recent statement, according to Vice.
Latino Health and Housing
Lack of affordable housing has substantial implications for many Latinos and dramatically impacts their quality of life.
Worse, these institutions that can help underserved communities will face adverse consequences from this legislation.
“The housing authority would bear the brunt of the expense of having to completely evict and go through the court action of having to evict these families,” Sylvia Blanco, COO of Austin’s Housing Authority, told the Times. “We would be on the hook for having to pay for that.”
Many Latinos live in racially segregated, low-income, high-poverty areas with limited access to fresh, healthy foods, quality healthcare, and physical activity spaces.
Sadly, many members of this community face unaffordable housing, unreliable public transportation, and a lack of green spaces, according to Salud America!‘s recent research review.
See how you can help improve housing justice for Latinos and all people!
Sign the letter to HUD by July 9, or comment straight to the docket.