The Trump Administration appears ready to move forward with a plan to purge undocumented immigrants from access to public housing despite the administration’s own estimate that doing so could displace more than 55,000 children, all of whom are legal U.S. residents or citizens.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published the proposed rule on the Federal Register on Friday.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement that preventing undocumented immigrants from living in public housing is part of the administration’s concerted effort “make certain our scarce public resources help those who are legally entitled to it.”
Under current rules, undocumented immigrants are not eligible to receive federal housing subsidies, but may benefit tangentially if their household is of mixed-immigration status (wherein at least one member of the household is a US citizen). In such situations, the household may remain eligible for federal subsidies which would be prorated to only cover eligible household residents.
Best estimates currently indicate approximately 25,000 such mixed-immigration status households representing roughly 108,000 people that currently live in prorated subsidized housing.
A statistical breakdown reveals that of those 108,000 people, around 76,000 are legally eligible US residents, 55,000 of whom are children.
The newly proposed rule would mandate that every member of a family be “of eligible immigration status” in order for any family member in the household to receive benefits. If implemented, the rule would end eligibility for all 25,000 households.
The Washington Post reported that HUD’s own analysis of the rule showed that the department “expects that fear of the family being separated would lead to prompt evacuation by most mixed households,” adding that “temporary homelessness could arise for a household, if they are unable to find alternative housing.”
HUD’s analysis also revealed some counter-intuitive results. For example, despite subsidizing fewer people under the new rule, the proposed subsidy restrictions would cost an additional $193 million to $227 million annually as entire families would receive higher overall subsidies.
Assuming that Congress would not allocate the additional funds, HUD would likely be forced “to reduce the quantity and quality of assisted housing in response to higher costs. HUD also found that, in spite of the administration’s stated goal of moving families off of the housing assistance wait-list, “there could be fewer households served under the housing choice vouchers program.”
[Image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images]