A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Amplifying the Voice of Philanthropy to Oppose HUD’s Mixed Status Proposed Rule

On July 9, 2019, Funders Together to End Homelessness submitted a public comment to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to show our opposition to its recent proposed rule that would prohibit “mixed-status” immigrant families from public or subsidized housing.

These families consist of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents who may have a member that is ineligible for housing assistance due to their immigration status. While these families are currently pro-rated to only provide assistance for those members who are eligible, these proposed changes would instead require the family to remove the ineligible member (which is most likely a parent or income provider) or be evicted from their home.

We are in strong opposition of this proposed rule as it would force families and children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents from homes and put them at risk of experiencing homelessness, thus adding to the current crisis. If finalized, this rule would evict 25,000 families, including more than 55,000 children. In addition, the proposal contradicts our value in addressing racial disparities in as 95% of those who would be affected are people of color.

HUD’s own analysis found that this rule change would worsen the subsidizing housing waitlist and actually decrease the number of families assisted as well as cost the department up to nearly $440 million annually. It is important for HUD to understand that despite past comments and assumptions from the Administration, philanthropy cannot “fill the funding gap” for ongoing and additional housing needs because of this rule. If philanthropy is expected to invest additional funds to address housing needs created by the rule, it could take away critical resources from other investments in housing, homelessness, and preventative programs and solutions.

In our comments, we urged our partners at HUD to rescind the proposed rule which directly conflicts with the department’s mission and work with philanthropy through public-private partnerships to protect immigrant families in our communities from homelessness.

As of July 9, when the public comment period ended, a total of nearly 29,000 comments had been submitted, including those from Funders Together members such as The Campion Advocacy Fund, The Melville Charitable Trust, Meyer Memorial Trust, and The Simmons Foundation. These 29,000 comments surpassed the 25,000 goal -- one comment for each family that would be at risk of losing housing because of this rule.

We are proud to stand united with our members, national partners, and other philanthropy-serving organizations and support the work to ensure that all individuals in our communities have access to a safe and affordable place to call home.

Read our full comments here.

Funders: If you submitted public comments, please let us know so we can add your name to the list!

We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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