Democrat Moves To Counter HUD’s Proposed Housing Rule
By Jennifer Hickey | May 30, 2019
On Wednesday, Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) introduced the Families Under One Roof Act, a two-page bill to “prevent the breakup of families receiving certain Federal housing assistance.”
The two-page bill would change a section of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 to allow “any” member of a mixed-status family who is eligible for government to qualify the whole family for prorated family housing assistance. Under current law, only the head of a household or a spouse can qualify.
The bill is a response to the rule proposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on May 10 that would specify “that individuals who are not in eligible immigration status may not serve as the leaseholders.” The proposal also would require officials to verify the immigration status of individuals in public housing.
The HUD proposal is an outgrowth of the Executive Order (“Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility) issued by President Trump on April 10, 2018 and sets forth an government-wide effort to ensure only eligible individuals receive government benefits.
If approved, federally subsidized housing benefits would only be available to families in which every member is a citizen or exempted noncitizen, such as a refugee or legal permanent resident. Democrats predictably reacted with aghast and outrage, alleging that thousands of children would be thrown into the streets and made homeless.
The proposed rule must go through the 60-day comment period before it can be approved. With several other immigration-related bills of greater priority to House leadership, it remains unclear whether this legislation will proceed any farther.