• ACV Reports

HUD Secretary Ben Carson proposes new rules that would exclude illegals from public housing

The Trump administration is proposing a new rule to try to block some 32,000 illegal immigrant-led families from claiming public housing assistance, saying it’s unfair to hundreds of thousands of Americans who are stuck on waiting lists.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson directed that the Department of Housing and Urban Development notify Congress Wednesday of the new rule, kicking off a schedule of publication, notice and comment that could have the plan finalized late this summer.

Carson’s plan would scrap Clinton-era regulations that allowed illegal immigrants to sign up for assistance without having to disclose their status.

Under the new Trump rules, the leaseholder using public housing would have to be an eligible U.S. person, either a citizen or a legal resident alien. The government would verify all applicants through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database, a federal system that’s used to weed illegal immigrants out of other welfare programs.

Those already getting HUDassistance would have to go through a new verification, though it would be over a period of time and wouldn’t all come at once.

“We’ve got our own people to house and need to take care of our citizens,” a Carson aide told The Washington Times. “Because of past loopholes in HUDguidance, illegal aliens were able to live in free public housing desperately needed by so many of our own citizens. As illegal aliens attempt to swarm our borders, we’re sending the message that you can’t live off of American welfare on the taxpayers’ dime.”

Illegals live in HUD housing while legal citizens or residents await placement. (Photo: San Diego Union-Tribune)

Illegal immigrants’ access to taxpayer-funded welfare and other benefit programs has long been controversial.

Currently, housing aid is prorated only for eligible members of a family. That means the household receives subsidies only for members who have proved their eligibility; those who declare they are ineligible are excluded from receiving benefits, but can live with the rest of the family in subsidized housing.

The new regulation would disqualify the entire family — even those who are United States citizens or legal resident aliens — if one member is ineligible by virtue of being illegally in the country.

The goal is to remove undocumented people, who the agency believes "indirectly receive assistance through the household's income," per HUD's impact analysis. The rule has to go through the obligatory 60-day notice-and-comment process, but if this version goes through,

HUD would also initiate eviction proceedings against families who do not readily leave their HUD housing within 18 months. HUD would assume the costs that come with eviction proceedings, which it estimates could go up to $4.4 million.

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