More Than 55,000 Children Could Be Left Homeless If Implemented
BALTIMORE, MD – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, joining a coalition of 23 states, today submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) opposing a proposed rule that would deny housing assistance to mixed-status families that include any undocumented immigrants.
The new proposal would result in the eviction of thousands of families, including many children and lawful residents and citizens, who rely on housing assistance for their homes. If enacted, the proposed rule will harm the states, their residents, their local economies, and the public health.
“HUD’s proposed rule is another step in the Administration’s family separation policy,” said Attorney General Frosh. “This rule would force parents out of the homes and lives of their children. It is a policy that is both cruel and counterproductive.”
For more than 30 years, laws governing public housing and HUD rules have prioritized family unity and the preservation of the family unit. Accordingly, the law has for decades allowed families with mixed immigration status to receive public housing subsidies, so long as ineligible family members did not themselves receive any financial subsidies. The new proposal, announced in April 2019, would prohibit family members who are undocumented from residing in their homes. In many cases, the eligible family members are children, and these minors would not be able to live without their parents, resulting in the effective eviction of entire families.
As HUD’s own analysis concludes, the proposed rule would eliminate housing assistance for more than 108,000 people, including at least 55,000 children, many of whom are U.S. citizens or otherwise eligible for housing assistance.
In the comment letter submitted today, the attorneys general argue that this substantial loss of housing benefits will also cause significant economic and social harms to the states, including greater homelessness, reduced productivity, and a higher incidence of major health problems for those impacted by the rule.
States will have to bear significant administrative and social benefit costs if the rule goes into effect. Private housing providers will be far less likely to participate in subsidized housing programs, leaving states to find additional affordable housing options and plan for increased rates of evictions and homelessness.
In addition to Maryland, today’s letter is signed by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.