NY blasts ‘cruel’ HUD proposal to evict immigrants from public housing

The Henry Rutgers Houses in the Lower East Side.

The city slammed the rule as “weaponizing immigration
status”

City and state lawmakers this week blasted a proposed federal
rule change that would evict undocumented tenants and
put thousands of New York families at risk
of homelessness.

The
proposed rule
, which was put forward by the Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in May, would prevent
households with so-called mixed families—where at least one
member is undocumented—from receiving public housing subsidies.
The change would be a departure from current rules, under which
immigrant families are allowed to live in public housing so long as
one member is a legal resident of the United States.

Such a change
could impact some 108,000 people
living in 25,000 mixed
households across the country, data
from HUD shows
. Seventy-two percent of those families reside in
three states: California, Texas, and New York. New York state
accounts for 12 percent of those households, and in New York City
alone, 2,800 of those families are made up of 11,400 people,
including elderly and disabled people and some 4,900
children—many of whom are U.S. citizens or have eligible
immigration status, and are entitled to housing assistance. The de
Blasio administration condemned the plan in comments to HUD.

“The City finds the Proposed Rule particularly troubling in
light of its disproportionate impact on our city and state,” the
city wrote in
July 2 comments
to the Trump administration. “While the
proposed changes would undoubtedly have detrimental impacts on
thousands of families across the country, there would be a
significantly disproportionate negative impact on the City.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and eight state agencies joined the city in
denouncing the “needlessly cruel” proposal and are also
submitting comments in opposition to the rule change. “In New
York, we know that our diversity is our greatest asset, and we will
not stand idly by as Washington continues its all-out assault on
our immigrant communities,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The New York City Council also weighed in on the rule change
with a
13-page long public comment
opposing the policy. “It will
harm our city’s residents irreparably,” wrote City Council
Speaker Corey Johnson. “It will increase poverty and
homelessness. It is unjust, discriminatory, and runs counter to our
city’s and our country’s values.”

The de Blasio administration argues that the change is unlawful
because it violates the Administrative
Procedure Act
(APA), chiefly because it conflicts with
Congress’s intent when it passed the
Housing and Community Development Act of 1980
and, therefore,
does not comply with existing law. City officials also say that the
proposed rule “would exacerbate rather than alleviate the
Nation’s affordable housing shortage and the associated
homelessness problems, [and] create an undue burden on states and
localities to address problems created by the Proposed Rule.”

The city’s Section
8 program
, which provides rental assistance to eligible low-
and moderate-income families, could suffer under the change because
prorated assistance includes a lower subsidy per household,
allowing the city to serve more families. Without additional
funding for Section 8 to cover increased costs, the city’s
ability to aid all families would be reduced and “lead to a
shrinking Section 8 program,” the city says.

Families fleeing public housing would likely move into
precarious living situations, such as overcrowded homes and those
with subpar living conditions. Those unable to afford the city’s
high cost of housing would inevitably end up in homeless
shelters—adding to New York City’s
dire homelessness crisis
. Moreover, municipal agencies expect
to face financial and staffing strains under the shift as they work
to support impacted New Yorkers.

The rule, which was originally announced in April, is part of a
wider crackdown on immigration by President Donald Trump and comes
on the heels of numerous attempts to cut funding to
public housing and rental assistance programs
. HUD Secretary
Ben Carson and the White House have argued that the proposed rule
would free up resources for legally eligible recipients and shorten
waitlists for both public housing and Section 8 vouchers.

“Thanks to [Trump’s] leadership, we are putting America’s
most vulnerable first,” Carson
tweeted in April
when the Trump administration announced the
rule. “Our nation faces affordable housing challenges and
hundreds of thousands of citizens are waiting for many years on
waitlists to get housing assistance.”

But the de Blasio administration fired back, calling the
proposal “nothing more than a policy to rip families
apart.”

“This proposed rule change isn’t about fairness or reining
in scarce public resources,” Louise Carroll, commissioner of the
city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, said
in a statement. “It’s about weaponizing immigration status and
pushing 25,000 mixed-status families across the country out of
their homes.”

Source: FS – NYC Real Estate
NY blasts ‘cruel’ HUD proposal to evict immigrants from public housing