On May 10, 2019, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a proposed rule that aims to ensure only eligible individuals are receiving benefits in HUD section 214 programs. It specifically targets “mixed status families” – families with at least one citizen or qualified immigrant and at least one person who is not qualified for assistance.
As a result of these changes 25,000 mixed-status households currently receiving assistance will have to make the heartbreaking choice between enduring family separation so that eligible members can continue to qualify for critical subsidized housing programs or forfeiting their housing assistance so they can stay together. These families include 55,000 children who are eligible to receive assistance. The proposed rule includes new documentation requirements for people receiving housing assistance in these programs, including U.S. citizens and seniors. If an individual is unable to produce the newly required documents, they will lose their housing assistance. The influx of increased need derived from the impact of this proposed rule would put a strain on services for those experiencing homelessness and housing instability. The rule would have grave consequences for families, vulnerable communities, and the organizations that serve them.
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The public has the opportunity to comment on this proposed rule. Tell HUD to withdraw the proposed rule regarding the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980: Verification of Eligible Status, so that housing assistance will be preserved for mixed-status families.
Comments must be unique to be counted by HUD. Here are some talking points that you can modify to customize the comment you wish to submit. (We suggest you describe the importance of access to housing to you, then read through the talking points below and pick at least four to describe in your own words.):
- The proposed rule is inconsistent with my Catholic values of honoring the dignity of the person, the sanctity of the family, and the pursuit of the common good.
- The proposed rule conflicts with the underlying statute – the law allows for “mixed households,” where at least one household member is eligible, to receive a prorated amount of assistance.
- The proposed rule will undermine HUD’s stated goal of promoting a fair and inclusive housing market.
- The proposed rule will lead to family separation and instability for mixed-status families.
- The proposed rule will increase homelessness and undermine efforts to address housing instability.
- 72% of mixed-status families affected by this rule reside in California, Texas, or New York. The proposed rule will disproportionately impact vulnerable populations in three of the nation’s most populous and expensive states for housing.
- The proposed rule will negatively impact programs addressing housing insecurity due to the increased demand on these programs.
- The proposed rule will cause the quality and quantity of assisted housing to decrease due to the increased cost of transferring assistance to families with only eligible members.
- The proposed rule’s documentation requirements will have unintended consequences for all eligible households, including U.S. citizens and seniors, who may have trouble producing the correct paperwork.
Via USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development – July 3, 2019