A plan by HUD to end housing assistance forwould displace more than 55,000 children who are U.S. citizens or legal residents, according to a staff analysis of the proposed .
HUD has cast the proposal as a way to trim waiting lists for American citizens seeking subsidized housing. The proposal would “close a loophole and ensure we enforce what is already law,” Secretary Ben CarsonFriday.
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Existing law bars HUD from providing financial assistance to undocumented immigrants. But according to the way the rules work now, a so-called mixed-status family — with both citizen and non-citizen members — can receive pro-rated housing aid if one of the members is an eligible citizen.
The new rule would require every member of a family receiving aid to be an eligible citizen.
About 25,000 families now living in federally subsidized housing have an ineligible member, according to HUD.
Democrats and housing advocates quickly slammed the rule, which was published Friday in the Federal Register.
“This proposed rule is another despicable action by the Trump Administration to disrupt communities and separate families,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the top Democrat on the Banking Committee.
“If Secretary Carson and this White House really wanted to address housing needs, they would not have slashed affordable housing in their budget,” Brown added.
A regulatoryby HUD staff found that a little more than 76,000 people are eligible members of mixed-family households, and 73 percent of those are children. Mixed families with eligible parents and ineligible children are much rarer.
“HUD expects that fear of the family being separated would lead to prompt evacuation by most mixed households, whether that fear is justified,” HUD staff wrote.
“It is assumed that smaller households consisting of parents and children are unlikely to separate in order to retain housing assistance. By this assumption, most mixed households are likely to leave assisted housing together,” the staff wrote. “Temporary homelessness could arise for a household, if they are unable to find alternative housing.”