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July 9, 2019

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL OPPOSES RULE TO DENY CRITICAL HOUSING ASSISTANCE TO IMMIGRANTS

Proposed Rule Could Leave More Than 55,000 Children Homeless Nationwide

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with a coalition of 21 attorneys general, today submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) opposing a new proposal that would deny housing assistance to mixed-status families that include any undocumented immigrants.

In the letter, Raoul and the coalition argue that the new proposal would result in the eviction of thousands of families, including many children and lawful residents and citizens, who rely on federal housing assistance. If enacted, the Proposed Rule will harm the states, their residents, their local economies, and the public health.

“For years, HUD’s rules and laws governing public housing have facilitated the preservation of the family unit,” Raoul said. “This proposed rule cruelly abandons family unity as a priority and eliminates housing assistance for hundreds of thousands of people, including children. I urge HUD to abandon this unlawful and harmful proposal.”

The law has for decades allowed families with mixed immigration status to receive public housing subsidies, provided that ineligible family members did not themselves receive any financial subsidies. The new proposal, announced in April, would prohibit family members who are undocumented from residing in a home where another resident receives federal housing assistance. In many cases, the eligible family members are children, and these minors would not be able to live without their parents, resulting in the effective eviction of entire families.

As the department’s own analysis concludes, the Proposed Rule would eliminate housing assistance for more than 108,000 people, including at least 55,000 children, many of whom are U.S. citizens or otherwise eligible for housing assistance.

Raoul and the coalition argue that this substantial loss of housing benefits will cause significant economic and social harms to the states, including increased homelessness, reduced productivity, and a higher incidence of significant health problems.

States will have to bear significant administrative and social benefit costs if the rule goes into effect. Private housing providers will be far less likely to participate in subsidized housing programs, leaving states to find additional affordable housing options and plan for increased rates of evictions and homelessness.

Joining Raoul in submitting the comment letter are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

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