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Rep. Barragán, LA Members Urge HUD to Withdraw Plan to End Public Housing for Undocumented Immigrants

By May 15, 2019 No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 15, 2019

Contact: Clarissa Rojas

202-594-7768

 

Rep. Barragán, LA Members Urge HUD to Withdraw Plan to End Public Housing for Undocumented Immigrants

 

WASHINGTON D.C. –Today, Rep Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43)Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, and other Members of the Los Angeles Congressional delegation sent a letter to Secretary Ben Carson urging the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to withdraw a proposed rule that would evict American citizens and their families in public housing if they have an undocumented family member living with them.

 

“The proposed rule is an unconscionable ploy by the administration to carry out its anti-immigrant agenda at the expense of thousands of families,” said Rep. Barragán. “Instead of addressing the homelessness problem in Los Angeles and across the country, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is admittingly attempting to put thousands of families, many with children who are U.S. citizens, onto the streets. I’m proud to lead Members of the Los Angeles Congressional delegation in speaking out and fighting against this cruel proposal.”

 

“Nearly one in three HACLA residents residing in public housing live in “mixed families” and the vast majority of them are children who are US citizens,” said Doug Guthrie, President and CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA). “Combined with Section 8 housing assistance the proposed rule by HUD would throw 11,600 of our neediest residents out of their homes and, more than likely, onto the street; adding to the already chronic homeless situation in Los Angeles.”

 

The letter was signed by Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43), Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Rep. Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Rep. Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), Rep. Yvette Clarke (NY-9), Rep. Katie Hill (CA-25), Rep. Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Rep. Norma J. Torres (CA-35), Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47).

 

“The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) is one of the nation’s largest public housing authorities, and provides the largest supply of quality, affordable housing to residents of the City of Los Angeles. As such, HACLA would be uniquely affected by this rulemaking, and has already begun to investigate the impact that the HUD proposed rule would have on the City of Los Angeles, as well as other communities in Los Angeles County,” the Members wrote. “An estimated 22% of all HACLA-assisted households, and 31% of the total population in HACLA’s public housing programs, will be negatively impacted by the proposed rule. Further, with nearly one in three public housing residents impacted by the rule, the economic consequences for HACLA will be immense. Including public housing and Section 8 housing, this rule could displace 2,587 households, totaling an estimated 11,600 individuals. This could have devastating effects on many Los Angeles communities.”

 

The text of the letter is as follows:

 

May 15, 2019

 

The Honorable Ben Carson

Secretary

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

451 7th Street S.W.

Washington, DC 20410-0001

 

Dear Secretary Carson:

 

We write to demand that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) withdraw its proposed rule regarding Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 (Section 214). The Administration’s approach to this proposed rulemaking runs counter to the goals of providing housing assistance to the most vulnerable Americans. In fact, this proposed rule could lead to family separations and exacerbate homelessness in Los Angeles and the greater region.

 

Under the proposed rule, every member of a household receiving housing assistance would need to be a U.S. citizen or fall under an eligible category of noncitizen in the United States. Under the current rule, housing benefits are prorated so that only those family members who are lawfully present and eligible for those benefits actually receive them. This proposed rule could put U.S. citizen children at risk of homelessness if their parents are undocumented or ineligible noncitizens. The proposal could also result in family separation if eligible family members in mixed status households want to continue receiving benefits.

 

The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) is one of the nation’s largest public housing authorities, and provides the largest supply of quality, affordable housing to residents of the City of Los Angeles. As such, HACLA would be uniquely affected by this rulemaking, and has already begun to investigate the impact that the HUD proposed rule would have on the City of Los Angeles, as well as other communities in Los Angeles County.

 

An estimated 22% of all HACLA-assisted households, and 31% of the total population in HACLA’s public housing programs, will be negatively impacted by the proposed rule. Further, with nearly one in three public housing residents impacted by the rule, the economic consequences for HACLA will be immense. Including public housing and Section 8 housing, this rule could displace 2,587 households, totaling an estimated 11,600 individuals.  This could have devastating effects on many Los Angeles communities. Removing this population from the HACLA housing system without a plan to relocate them could heighten the Los Angeles region’s existing homelessness crisis.

 

The collateral damage of this policy on U.S. citizen children is unconscionable. Your own Department’s analysis of the proposed rule offers that there are “less costly alternatives that would achieve a similar objective to this proposed rule.” We disagree with the spirit of the proposed rule. Not only would this proposal significantly increase costs under an Administration that has continually proposed cuts to housing programs, but it is also an indication that your approach lacks the fundamental compassion that our government should employ when making decisions of this magnitude.

 

We demand you withdraw this proposed rule. This policy proposal threatens to increase costs, decrease HUD’s ability to maximize the families it serves with quality homes, force U.S. citizen children into homelessness, and separate families.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán

Rep. Maxine Waters

Rep. Grace F. Napolitano

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard

Rep. Ted W. Lieu

Rep. Linda T. Sánchez

Rep. Yvette Clarke

Rep. Katie Hill

Rep. Jimmy Gomez

Rep. Norma J. Torres

Rep. Judy Chu

Rep. Alan Lowenthal

The letter can be found here.

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Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Florence-Firestone, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Walnut Park, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington.