Protect Immigrant Families' Access to Public Housing

Protecting Immigrant Public Housing:

no more families torn.jpg

URGENT! A new proposed rule change at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would disrupt immigrant families, endanger their citizen children, push struggling families further into poverty and increase homelessness. HUD proposes to deny access to housing programs for families that include even one member who is undocumented or not a citizen.

Here is what you need to know to take action.

By law only citizens and certain classes of non-citizens (e.g., refugees) are eligible to receive federal housing assistance. HUD may not provide assistance to ineligible persons, including undocumented.

 Currently HUD prorates housing assistance based on the number of eligible persons in a household. That is, if there is one ineligible person in a family of four, the family would receive 75% of the allowable allowance but would be eligible to live in public housing - they just pay higher rent.

 Under the Proposed Rule Change, the presence of one non-eligible person in the household makes the entire household ineligible.

 Result – Even families with citizen children would no longer be able to receive housing assistance or live in public housing.  This will result in increased homelessness, burden other social service agencies, and possibly result in more children entering the foster care system.


Post a comment on the Federal Register protesting the proposed rule change. The deadline is July 9. Go to and follow directions to post your comment.

Talking Points

  • Millions of immigrant families are mixed-status, including some US citizen members and some who are not. According HUD’s own analysis, it is estimated that this proposed rule change could result in the eviction of up to 55,000 US citizen children living in HUD-subsidized housing.

  • The proposed rule change would severely punish impoverished families of mixed immigration status. The existing interpretation of the law is reasonable and humane.

  • This change would cause a sharp increase in homelessness, as many who would be evicted lack the financial resources to lease other kinds of housing, which could result in some children entering welfare systems. This is not acceptable for a nation that prides itself on being family friendly.

  • This proposed rule change is antithetical to a just, moral and equitable system of assistance to low-income families.