A proposed HUD policy change is more than it seems. And discriminatory. (from a local housing employee)
The whole story: Ben Carson has been prancing around the last couple weeks unveiling a new proposal that HUD evict all undocumented persons living in federally subsidized housing. On the surface, it looks pretty common sense and innocuous. The most frequent question I’ve seen in the comment sections on major news outlets has been, “why are we assisting them in the first place?” Great question. In federal housing (the only housing impacted by this proposal), ******* we aren’t ******. In fact, we haven’t been since 1981.
The current system: Families comprised of all undocumented immigrants are currently ineligible to receive assistance. Period. So, this rule only impacts families with a mix of immigrant statuses. Currently, families that are a blend of citizens and undocumented immigrants receive a “prorated” assistance. Everyone in the entire household has to report all of their income, but they only receive a percentage of the assistance based on how many people in the household are documented. Let’s say there’s a family of 4:1 person does not have papers and the other 3 do. They would get 75% of the assistance that a family in the exact same situation but with all citizens would receive. Another example: 2 people have papers and 2 people don’t? That’s only funding at 50%.
This proposed rule plans to do away entirely with prorated assistance. If the rule takes effect, families will have a limited time to provide documentation for everyone in the household. If they can’t, they’ll have to kick the undocumented person out or face eviction. (**This rule would apply to federal housing only.** not tax credit properties or properties run by non-profits/private organizations.)
What is that going to look like? It’s going to look like parents being less comfortable accessing help with housing for their children. It’s going to look like fewer low income grandmas (who are US citizens) being assisted because each household already receiving assistance gets the full amount of help. It’s going to look like citizens getting evicted from their homes because they can’t live without their breadwinner, and their breadwinner can’t live with them. It’s going to look like straight up discrimination because in certain states, the majority of the undocumented immigrants are people of color.
As a person who calculates these prorated rents, I get the temptation to just simplify the paperwork with an all or nothing policy. But doing real damage to fellow citizens for the sake of making my desk life easier will never be something I’m willing to support.
Comments are open on the federal register’s website on the proposal for the next month or so.
You know what to do: Submit your comments here