Nearly 1 million people in California could lose their homes under a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development plan seeking to evict undocumented family members from public housing, data released by a housing advocacy group suggests.
A state-by-state breakdown released by the National Housing Law Project shows 936,830 people in California would be impacted by HUD’s policy – a total number of 436,340 households. Of those individuals, 846,670 are citizens.
That means California has the second-largest number of individuals who could face eviction or be separated from their families in the country, behind only New York. No. 3 Texas has 586,600 individuals and 245,910 households.
The number of people who could be impacted in New York is 1.1 million, a total of 534,830 households. Of the number of individuals who could be impacted in New York, a little over 1 million are citizens.
The analysis was produced by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which pulled data from 2017 HUD administrative data, said Karlo Ng, supervising attorney at the National Housing Law Project, which is opposing the proposal.
The National Housing Law Project says it works to advance housing justice in underserved communities, according to its website.
“Current law already ensures that only eligible U.S. citizens and residents receive housing assistance, and if finalized, this rule would effectively evict households with mixed immigration status or force families to choose between their housing and keeping their family together,” said Preston Prince, executive director and chief executive officer for the Fresno Housing Authority.
In Fresno, it is estimated that 2,606 people would be impacted, of which 1,402 would be children. That number of individuals spreads across 570 mixed-immigration status families.
Late last month, Fresno Mayor Lee Brand and the Fresno Housing Authority board of commissioners were poised to oppose HUD’s proposal. The Fresno Housing Authority’s letter to HUD opposing the proposal will be an action item during this month’s meeting.
“It’s horrible, it’s horrendous, “ Ng said of the proposed rule. “It does not make any sense ... it’s a bad policy.”
At least one expert told The Bee in April that HUD’s proposal seemed reasonable to solve the shortage of affordable housing in the country. But for the most part, Prince has said the proposal has been largely criticized, and it seems to be bipartisan.
HUD first announced in late April that Congress was reviewing its proposal, and the proposed rule change has since been published in the Federal Register. The public has until July 9 to submit comments on the proposal.
HUD has estimated a budget impact of as much as $227 million a year as a result of the proposed rule.
“HUD has no idea how they are going to pay for it,” Ng said, adding that the federal housing agency also hasn’t taken into account the costs associated with enforcing the change, if enacted.