Democrats in California Oppose HUD Plan to Prioritize Americans over Illegals for Public Housing

More than 200 people live at the large encampment along Hiawatha and Cedar Avenues in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 22, 2018.
KEREM YUCEL/AFP/Getty Images

A new proposed rule that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued earlier this week to enforce existing law requiring those who receive public housing to be U.S. citizens gained the ire of Democrats, including Barack Obama’s former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

Solis, who is now on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, tweeted on Thursday support for 12 House members who sent a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson. The letter demands that the rule requiring everyone living in public houses to be in the country legally be revoked because some of those who could be affected are U.S. citizen children with illegal parents.

“Thank you @RepBarragan, @RepMaxineWaters, and other MoC for speaking out against @HUDgov’s proposal to evict families with an undocumented relative in the home. Yesterday, the #BOS approved my co-authored motion with @SheilaKuehl to send a letter against this unjust action,” Solis tweeted.

“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 Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA). “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.”

The letter reveals how many illegal aliens are living in public housing in just the Los Angeles area.

“An estimated 22 percent of all HACLA [Housing Authority for the City of Los Angeles]-assisted households, and 31 percent of the total population in HACLA’s public housing programs, will be negatively impacted by the proposed rule,” the letter states. “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,” the letter states.

But, as Breitbart News reported, critics are ignoring the law HUD wants to enforce, which Carson included in his remarks about the new rule on social media.

@HUDgov is proposing a rule to close a loophole and ensure we enforce what is already law,” Carson tweeted, adding the text of Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980.

“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. “Given the overwhelming demand for our programs, fairness requires that we devote ourselves to legal residents who have been waiting, some for many years, for access to affordable housing.”

The regulation, posted on the Federal Register, states, in part, about how the Act would be amended:

The proposed rule would require the verification of the eligible immigration status of all recipients of assistance under a covered program who are under the age of 62. As a result, the proposed rule would make prorated assistance a temporary condition pending verification of eligible status, as opposed to under the current regulation where it could continue indefinitely. 

The proposed rule would also specify that individuals who are not ineligible immigration status may not serve as the leaseholder, even as part of a mixed family whose assistance is prorated based on the percentage of members with eligible status. 

HUD believes the amendments will bring its regulations into greater alignment with the wording and purpose of Section 214.

HUD provided Breitbart News with some of the statistics on how many Americans in cities across the United States are in need of housing assistance, including 1.6 million waiting for public housing and 2.6 million who are in line for housing choice vouchers:

Only 1 in 4 qualified households currently receive housing assistance in this country. That means, 3 out of 4 families who might otherwise qualify for our programs do not get any help to pay their rent whatsoever.

• If current recipients are representative of those waiting for HUD assistance, most are extremely poor seniors or persons living with a disability.

• In some states, public housing waitlists are closed, and local public housing agencies are not even accepting new applicants.

Hundreds of thousands of people are waiting in cities like Los Angeles and New York City, according to a HUD survey.

The other Democrats who signed the letter include Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Ted W. Lieu (D-CA), Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Katie Hill (D-CA), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Norma J. Torres (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA).

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