HUD’s Proposed Mixed-Status Rule

We have submitted a public comment in opposition to HUD’s proposed mixed-status rule that could cause over 100,000 people to be evicted from their homes, including more than 55,000 children who are U.S. citizens or have legal status. HUD argues that the proposed rule is necessary to address long wait lists for housing assistance, while HUD’s own analysis shows that the proposed rule will result in fewer families receiving federal housing benefits. We all share the concern that millions of U.S. households struggle to find affordable housing in the ongoing nationwide housing crisis but blaming struggling immigrant families has not proven successful in remedying the situation and will hurt legal, law-abiding citizens, that would otherwise, greatly enrich our nation.

This rule could affect people like Gloria. She’s one of Mercy Housing’s most exemplary employees, and had this law been in place during her youth, Gloria and her family would have lost their housing and her ability to maintain or find employment, while homeless, would have been nearly impossible. As a legal, tax-paying citizen Gloria’s job helps her fellow U.S. citizen, that was formerly homeless, get on their feet, apply for jobs, move onto brighter futures, and be successful members of the community. The damage to families, and individuals like Gloria, resulting from this rule borders on criminal.

I recommend that HUD look to Mercy Housing’s founding principal, “we can do better,” and rethink this proposal to uproot America’s youth with costly and unproductive measures. The real issue is the lack of funding to ensure that every family, including mixed-status immigrant families, has access to the building block of a nation’s success – stable homes, where people can pursue brighter futures. HUD’s own language cites that this rule is meant as a fear-producing tactic: “HUD expects that fear of the family being separated would lead to prompt evacuation by most mixed households, whether that fear is justified.” Using fear to break up families is an egregious method that ignores the founding principles of this country. Furthermore, the purpose of this rule is to allocate resources to taxpayers more efficiently, yet HUD’s own estimates foresee that “the rule would cost another $193 million to $227 million a year.”

What has happened to the moral compass of this country? HUD states its mission as “creating strong, sustainable, inclusive communities in quality affordable homes for all.” This proposed mixed-status rule is a travesty. I urge the Trump Administration to immediately withdraw this proposed rule as it is clearly counter to the mission of HUD, hurts taxpayers, burdens families, and degrades us as Americans.

Yours in Hope,

Jane Graf

Mercy Housing,

President & CEO