Trump Administration Proposes Rule to Evict Undocumented Immigrants from Subsidized Housing – NLIHC

By the National Low Income Housing Coalition | Originally published on April 22, 2019

The National Low Income Housing Coalition discusses a new rule proposed by the Trump administration that seeks to prohibit undocumented immigrants from living in subsidized housing.


The Trump administration proposed a rule on April 17 that would prohibit undocumented immigrants from living in subsidized housing. Under the proposed rule, HUD will require expanded use of the Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) system to screen all residents under the age of 62, including people already living in subsidized housing. Families with members who are undocumented may be evicted from subsidized housing after 18 months. The proposed rule was sent to Congress for a 15-day review period. After the review period, the proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register and advocates will have 60 days to submit comments to HUD. NLIHC and our partners will provide resources to help advocates oppose the rule.

Under Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980, as amended, undocumented immigrants cannot receive federal housing assistance, but families of mixed-immigration status can live in subsidized housing if at least one member of the household is eligible to receive assistance. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, refugees and asylum seekers are eligible to receive housing assistance. Residents can declare themselves ineligible and are not required to reveal their immigration status. When a family of mixed-immigration status receives housing assistance, the family’s subsidy is pro-rated to account for only legally eligible residents. NLIHC estimates that there are 25,000 families of mixed-immigration status that receive housing assistance, the majority of whom live in New York, California, and Texas.

NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel stated, “HUD falsely claims the change is proposed out of concern for long waiting lists, when they know well that it would do nothing to free up new units. The true purpose may be part of this Administration’s effort to instill fear in immigrants throughout the country.”

National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) CEO Adrianne Todman also stated, “[T]o create a new rule that will disrupt existing tenants and families seems both cruel and unnecessary. HUD already restricts housing benefits to U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens. There are already rules in place, and public housing authorities both know them and follow them.”

Last year, the Trump administration proposed a similar rule that would have negative consequences on immigrant families’ ability to access critical and life-saving benefits, including housing assistance.

Read NLIHC’s statement here: https://bit.ly/2VbGaq6

Read NAHRO’s statement here: https://bit.ly/2VU1RIz

Read CLPHA’s statement here: https://bit.ly/2Gtv6LJ

Read more about the administration’s action at: https://wapo.st/2GyiYtX


The National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that ensures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.

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