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On May 10, 2019
, HUD released a proposed rule to end eligibility for "mixed status" families in its major rental assistance programs (public housing, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, Section 8 project-based rental assistance). the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the rule would likely result in the displacement from HUD-assisted housing of over 25,000 families, including 55,000 children.
Current law—Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980, as amended—prohibits the provision of certain housing assistance benefits to ineligible noncitizens (generally, persons in the country illegally
; or persons legally present but in a temporary status, such as tourists or students). (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) ) also pay reduced benefits to mixed status families.
Under HUD's 2019 proposed rule, mixed status families would be ineligible for assistance. The only exception would be for certain households that were receiving assistance on the date the existing regulations took effect (June 19, 1995).
will either have to remove ineligible household members in order to continue to receive assistance (an unavailable option for families with ineligible adults but eligible children); or to move to unassisted housing, either voluntarily or by formal eviction. would be permitted to continue assistance for mixed status families for 6 to18 months while they seek new housing. Executive Orders promulgated by President Trump.
HUD administrative data from December 2017 (as published in the economic analysis accompanying the rule and analyzed by CRS) the affected programs served more than 25,000 mixed status families , consisting of more than 108,000 people.
Mixed status families make up a relatively small share of the overall assistance caseload nationally, accounting for approximately 0.5% of all assisted households.
the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. Based on CRS analysis of HUD administrative data, mixed status families account for 10% or more of the caseload for approximately 40 PHAs, in some cases accounting for more than one-third of all families served by a PHA. Geographically, the largest numbers of mixed status families are in California, Texas, and New York.
HUD's economic analysis found the proposed rule would increase subsidy costs by roughly $200 million
per year, as mixed status families receiving a reduced , prorated benefit would be replaced by families receiving full benefits drawn from waiting lists for assistance. However, in a limited funding environment, this would likely result in fewer families being served or a decrease in the quality of the housing provided. HUD notes that the administrative costs of turnover associated with the proposed rule may be sizeable. HUD estimates the mixed status families being displaced will bear moving costs of approximately $500 each ; HUD notes some families may face homelessness as a result of the rule change , but the agency does not quantify that impact , other than noting that researchers estimate that the costs of homelessness borne by society can exceed $20,000 per homeless person annually.
Under current HUD regulations, each member of a family receiving housing assistance must provide (1) a
signed declaration of citizenship, signed under penalty of perjury; (2) a signed declaration of eligible immigration status, signed under penalty of perjury, along with appropriate verification documentation; or (3) an election not to contend to have eligible immigration status, thus making the family a mixed status family subject to prorated benefits. The proposed rule would make changes to the first option by creating a federal requirement for documentation of citizenship.
GAO report assessed the implications of citizenship documentation requirements added to the Medicaid program and found that such requirements appeared to increase administrative costs of the program and served as a barrier to program enrollment or result in loss of benefits for otherwise eligible citizens. However, the potential administrative or other program costs of the policy change are not contemplated in HUD's economic analysis of the proposed rule.