Woods Fund Statement on the HUD Proposed Rule Change

Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Woods Fund Chicago logo, which features the first two words of their name in large dark text, with Chicago below it in blue, and a cityscape-esque collection of four-sided shapes in shades of blue on the left. Posted to accompany their statement, Woods Fund Statement on the HUD Proposed Rule Change.

On May 10th, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a new rule to restrict immigrant access to federal housing assistance. We oppose any restriction to human services and supports for eligible individuals and families, and support immigrant families seeking safety and quality of life.

HUD has claimed this change will address the backlog of families that have been waiting for years to secure public housing assistance, but there are over 4 million families nationwide on one of the multiple HUD housing waiting lists. This proposed rule change will not solve the problem it is purported to solve, rather it will potentially separate families, destabilize communities, and exacerbate the housing affordability crisis across the country; an estimated 25,000 families will be evicted, including 55,000 children. Currently, mixed status families, with both citizen and non-citizen members can receive prorated housing assistance if at least one member is an eligible citizen. However, under the proposed rule change, mixed status families will no longer be eligible for federal housing assistance.

This proposed rule change is another step in an insidious effort to reduce the number of low-income immigrants of color in this country. On the heels of last year’s public charge rule change and just ahead of the administration’s new policy proposal that will favor “highly skilled” workers and require immigrants to speak English, this proposed rule change narrows the wave of “tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” We cannot stand idly by. Woods Fund will submit an official public comment urging the Administration to withdraw this proposal and to work with community, nonprofit, philanthropic, public and private sector leaders, to advance policies that support all immigrants as the valuable, productive members of America’s communities they already are. We hope others will do the same.

As a foundation committed to advancing racial equity and economic justice, Woods Fund Chicago strongly opposes this proposed change, which would exacerbate existing racial inequities in this country. Add your voice to the chorus of opposition; our collective advocacy is critical. Learn more about the proposed change here, and here, and read what national advocates are saying here.

You can submit a public comment here through July 9, 2019.

Please note, your public opposition does not constitute lobbying, as this rulemaking is an administrative process performed by a government agency.