Maloney, Velázquez Call on Appropriations Committee to Block HUD Rule that Would Make Thousands of Immigrant Families Homeless

May 21, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswomen Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12) and Nydia Velázquez (D-NY-07) today requested that House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Chairman David E. Price (D-NC) and Ranking Member Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) include a limiting amendment in the FY2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill to stop Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposed change to Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 that would leave thousands of immigrant families homeless.

The letter to the appropriators comes following their questioning of HUD Secretary Ben Carson at today’s House Financial Services Committee hearing.

In their letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member, Reps. Maloney and Velázquez state, “HUD’s proposed changes to Section 214 are counterproductive and meant to intimidate immigrant communities and separate families. If implemented, this rule would do nothing to solve the current affordable housing shortage, but instead would put tens of thousands of families who are living in public housing or other assisted housing programs administered by HUD at risk of eviction, family separation, and homelessness.”

Full text of the letter below and a PDF here.

Dear Chairman Price and Ranking Member Diaz-Balart:

We are writing to respectfully request that you include a limiting amendment to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposed changes to Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 (Section 214) [1] in the FY2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

HUD’s proposed changes to Section 214 are counterproductive and meant to intimidate immigrant communities and separate families. If implemented, this rule would do nothing to solve the current affordable housing shortage, but instead would put tens of thousands of families who are living in public housing or other assisted housing programs administered by HUD at risk of eviction, family separation, and homelessness.

HUD proposed this rule even though current laws and regulations already prohibit federal housing programs from subsidizing undocumented immigrants. According to HUD’s own assessment, this proposal could displace more than 55,000 children[2] who are U.S. citizens or legal residents. We pressed the Secretary on this topic in today’s Financial Services Committee hearing and found his answers unsatisfactory and disturbing.

Instead of working to create the affordable housing solutions that our country desperately needs, this rule would put thousands of American children at risk of homelessness and create more heartbreaking problems for families. We strongly urge that the Committee withhold funding for the implementation of this harmful rule.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Carolyn B. Maloney         Nydia M. Velázquez

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[1] Department of Housing and Urban Development, Housing and Community Development Act of 1980: Verification of Eligible Status, 84 Fed Reg. 20589 (May 10, 2019), available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/05/10/2019-09566/housing-and-community-development-act-of-1980-verification-of-eligible-status

[2] Jan, Tracy. “HUD says 55,000 children could be displaced under Trump plan to evict undocumented immigrants.” Washington Post. May 10, 2019.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/05/10/hud-says-children-could-be-displaced-under-trump-plan-evict-undocumented-immigrants/?utm_term=.1e597a60607b