NAHMA HUD Update: Comments Requested – HUD Proposes Rule to Require Verification of Eligible Immigration Status

NAHMA HUD Update: Comments Requested – HUD Proposes Rule to Require Verification of Eligible Immigration Status

Today, HUD published a proposed rule for comment regarding the verification of eligible immigration status for recipients of housing assistance. According to the proposed rule, HUD believes that requiring the verified eligible immigration status of the head of household or spouse is more in keeping with statutory goals of ensuring that HUD’s limited financial resources be used to aid families lawfully present in the United States, encompassing U.S. citizens and nationals, as well as noncitizens with eligible immigration status. Please send NAHMA any comments on the proposed rule by Friday, June 28, 2019.

The proposed rule would make two changes to HUD’s current regulations implementing parts of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 relating to U.S. citizens and certain categories of eligible noncitizens in HUD’s public housing and Section 8 Housing Assistance programs (Section 214):

  • Under current regulation, HUD can prorate assistance for a household based on the immigration eligibility of household members. The proposed rule would require verification of the eligible immigration status of all recipients of assistance under a covered housing 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.
  • The proposed rule would also specify that individuals who are not in eligible immigration status may not serve as a leaseholder, even as part of a mixed-eligibility family whose assistance is prorated based on the percentage of members with eligible status.
  • The proposed rule also makes a number of nonsubstantive (technical) changes to update terminology and formatting in the Section 214 statutory requirements.

According to the proposed rule, several factors have prompted HUD to reconsider its noncitizen regulations, including the President’s April 2018 Executive Order 13828. Titled “Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility,” the Executive Order provides that agencies should “adopt policies to ensure that only eligible persons receive benefits and enforce all relevant laws providing that aliens who are not otherwise qualified and eligible may not receive benefits.”

As stated in the proposed rule, “HUD specifically invites comments regarding any less burdensome alternatives to this rule that will meet HUD’s objectives.” Less burdensome alternatives could include grandfathering clauses and targeted (leaseholder only) eligibility verification requirements.

To view the proposed rule online, please click here. More details about the proposed rule and HUD’s request for comment are included below. Please send any comments to NAHMA by Friday, June 28th, 2019.We will also work with our Regulatory Affairs Committee for further analysis of this issue.