HUD Proposes Banning Undocumented Immigrants from Subsidized Housing
Under Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980, as amended, undocumented immigrants can’t receive federal housing assistance, but families of mixed-immigration status can live in subsidized housing if at least one member of the household is eligible to receive assistance. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, refugees, and asylum seekers are eligible to receive housing assistance. Residents can declare themselves ineligible and aren’t required to reveal their immigration status. When a family of mixed-immigration status receives housing assistance, the family’s subsidy is prorated to account for only legally eligible residents.
HUD recently proposed a rule for Congressional review that would prohibit undocumented immigrants from living in subsidized housing. Under the proposed rule, HUD will require expanded use of the Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) system to screen all residents under the age of 62, including people already living in subsidized housing. Families with members who are undocumented may be evicted from subsidized housing after 18 months.
In a recent tweet, HUD Secretary Carson suggested the proposed rule is needed to trim waitlists. HUD estimates that approximately 32,000 households receiving federal housing assistance are headed by individuals who aren’t legal U.S. residents. The proposed rule was sent to Congress for a 15-day review period on April 17. After the review period, the proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register and advocates will have 60 days to submit comments to HUD.