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HUD Proposed Rule Change On Mixed-Status Families In Public Housing

May 31, 2019

Los Angeles, CA (May 31, 2019) – The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Commission unanimously approved a public comment last week strongly opposing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposed rule change which would restrict the ability of immigrants without eligible legal status to reside in public housing. LAHSA’s comment can be found here.

At present, immigrants without eligible status are able to reside in a public housing unit or a voucher-assisted unit as long as one of the members of the household is eligible. In these cases, subsidies are pro-rated based on the number of members of the household that are eligible. HUD’s proposed rule would require that all residents of HUD-subsidized public housing or voucher-supported units be verified as eligible, and would also require that all leaseholders be verified as eligible. This potential change would impact thousands of mixed-status families in which at least one of the family members has an eligible legal status, thus qualifying them for housing benefits.

LAHSA’s comment to HUD urges that the proposed change, “will exacerbate the homelessness and housing crisis by pushing thousands of Angeleno families already in need of assistance closer to the brink of homelessness.”

The proposed rule, if enacted, could impact 11,000 individuals receiving benefits through the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles as part of a mixed-status household. The Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles estimates that just under 500 mixed-status households would be impacted as well. In addition, by removing ineligible immigrants and thus “pro-rated” subsidies, HUD would need to increase national spending between an estimated $193 to $227 million annually to maintain assistance being delivered to the same number of people.

In response to the proposed change, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis also addressed her concerns in the following statement:

“This administration has launched another attack against immigrant families with this ill-advised rule proposed by HUD. This misguided rule would harm more than 55,000 children who are U.S. citizens or legal residents who can be evicted, along with their mixed-status family members. This new proposed HUD rule would force families to make an unthinkable choice: stay together as a family, or be broken up while some family members remain in their homes. We will do everything in our power to fight this injustice. We will defend and protect all LA County residents.”

But there’s still time to act. HUD will be accepting public comments on this proposed rule until July 9 at 8:59 p.m. PST, and it is imperative that they hear from organizations about how this proposed change could place thousands more Angelenos at risk of homelessness. LAHSA encourages organizations to take the opportunity to share their experiences with HUD and urge them to reconsider this rule.

To learn more about the proposal, click here for a fact sheet. Providers can also use the public comment template by clicking here. Comments should be submitted through this portal before July 9.

For questions, please contact Alex Visotzky at avisotzky@lahsa.org.

LAHSA is a joint powers authority of the city and county of Los Angeles, created in 1993 to address the problem of homelessness in Los Angeles County. LAHSA is the lead agency in the HUD-funded Los Angeles Continuum of Care, and coordinates and manages over $300 million annually in federal, state, county, and city funds for programs providing shelter, housing, and services to people experiencing homelessness.

 

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