We believe all survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their families deserve stability and healing after abuse. Access to secure and safe housing, and the ability to live together with family members that are the vital support network for many, is critical for the communities we serve. As organizations supporting some of the most marginalized survivors in New York City, many of whom are immigrants with varying English language proficiency, we fiercely oppose HUD’s cruel and costly proposed rule changes to deny mixed-status families eligibility for federal housing assistance. If implemented, the proposed rule changes will separate and displace 109,000 people in 25,000 families across the country, further exacerbating the national homelessness crisis. For those survivors and their families who have found stability and healing while living in Section 8 and Public Housing this change presents a new traumatizing event that puts the entire family in a precarious situation. For currently homeless survivors and their families, this rule shortens an already short list of available housing options.
HUD is arguing that this rule is aimed at freeing up the scarce housing resources they have and that this is a purely budgetary measure. However, this rule would actually require the department to reduce the number of subsidies provided to families. By getting rid of mixed-status families, about $200 million new dollars would have to be provided to families with all eligible members. To pay for the higher costs, HUD would be forced to reduce the quality and quantity of assisted housing.1
The proposed rule not only lacks any budgetary sense, but it will further perpetuate the affordable housing crisis and harm the most vulnerable in our communities. What we need is real investment in the safety and well-being of survivors and their families.
We encourage you to participate in the public comment period by July 9, 2019 and let HUD know that this rule change will hurt survivors and our communities.
Where to go for more information:
VIP and Womankind are proud supporters of the National Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign working diligently to provide up-to-date, accurate information and resources (media toolkits, talking points, public comment templates, etc.) for groups standing in solidarity with immigrants and their families. The National Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign launched a new website to support advocacy efforts against HUD’s proposed rule change. You can find more information here: https://www.keep-families-together.org/
1 https://www.keep-families-together.org/resources, 2019