The Trump administration has put forward a new policy that could displace 55,000 children from public housing complexes across the country, including the New York City Housing Authority.
The proposed rule change from the Department of Housing and Urban Development is meant to target undocumented immigrants, the Daily News reported. But HUD acknowledges that it will end up mostly impacting legal residents and citizens, including tens of thousands of children.
“HUD expects that fear of the family being separated would lead to prompt evacuation by most mixed households,” the study states. “Temporary homelessness could arise for a household, if they are unable to find alternative housing.”
Current HUD rules permit undocumented immigrants to reside in subsidized housing as long as one of their family members has legal status. The proposed change, advocated by White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and entered into the Federal Register by HUD secretary Ben Carson on Friday, would remove this exception.
According to an internal HUD study, examined by the Daily News and first reported by the Washington Post, about 25,000 “mixed” family units – those with at least one undocumented member – currently live in subsidized housing, including NYCHA housing in New York City.
Of the roughly 108,000 people that comprise these households, 70 percent are residing in the U.S. legally, and more than 55,000 are children. Most of the families impacted reside in New York, California and Texas.
Before taking effect, the rule change will be subject to a 60-day public comment period.
“There is an affordable housing crisis in this country, and we need to make certain our scarce public resources help those who are legally entitled to it,” Carson said in a statement.
But immigration advocates pushed back against that reasoning, pointing out that the new rule will mostly displace legal residents.
In New York, NYCHA has been going through a major crisis in recent months, with HUD appointing a monitor to oversee the housing authority’s activities after settling federal litigation over mismanagement of tens of thousands of subsidized apartments.
In order to bolster its inadequate funding, the agency has moved to develop more market-rate housing in partnership with private developers, while other development plans have been put on hold indefinitely. [NYDN, WaPo] — Kevin Sun