AUSTIN, Texas -- Officials with the Department of Housing and Urban Development are proposing a new rule that could displace thousands of families with mixed-citizenship status.
- 25,000 households in U.S. impacted
- 23 percent of those families live in Texas
The change would impact about 25,000 households in the country.
According a HUD analysis, 23 percent of those families live in Texas. The deadline to submit public comments on the proposal is Tuesday, July 9 at 11 p.m. CDT.
HELPFUL LINK | Submit your comments
Under current rules, undocumented immigrants do not receive federal housing benefits, but subsidized rent would be prorated based on the number of eligible residents in the household, such as a child or a spouse who is a U.S. citizen. HUD officials now want to deny federal housing aid to those families.
In a tweet, Dr. Ben Carson, HUD secretary said: “We are putting America's most vulnerable first. Our nation faces affordable housing challenges and hundreds of thousands of citizens are waiting for many years on waitlists to get housing assistance.”
However, some local housing authorities are expressing concerns about what it means for families.
“We feel this is just an about-face that’s cruel and heartless and is only going to the housing instability that many families face,” said Sylvia Blanco, chief operating officer of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin.
To submit your comments, visit the Federal Register website.
Some local housing authorities are also expressing concerns about what it means for families, adding the proposal comes at a time when affordability and homeless are critical issues in major Texas cities.
“We feel this is just an about-face that’s cruel and heartless and is only going to exacerbate the housing instability that many families face,” said Sylvia Blanco, chief operating officer of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin.
Blanco said the proposed rule would affects 130 households in Austin. Eighty-nine families are in the public housing properties, while 41 affected families are in the housing voucher program.
“If they were to have to seek housing elsewhere, there is a going to be a huge battle trying to find something equally affordable to what they have been able to secure through our programs,” Blanco said. “That’s going to impact and burden our homeless assistance programs. These families may end up literally on the streets.”
According to the San Antonio Housing Authority, the proposal would impact 220 ineligible individuals who living are with families who are eligible receiving housing assistance. SAHA also opposes the proposed rules.
In a statement, SAHA officials said:
“San Antonio families seek SAHA’s assistance because they are unable to find affordable housing and or are searching for resources to become self-sufficient. This proposal halts their dreams as they would be fearful of how their families would be targeted.”
Christina Rosales is the communications director for Texas Housers. The non-profit works to address housing and community development issues by engaging low-income people. They also help those who live in public housing across Texas. Rosales said the proposed rules are creating confusion and terror.