U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge said HUD is not prioritizing U.S. citizens over illegal immigrants for public housing assistance, despite a shortage of available units in certain areas during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fudge announced the allocation of vouchers under President Biden’s American Rescue Plan during a news conference with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, North Carolina Democratic Rep. David Price and others. The Biden stimulus package includes $5 billion in vouchers to house homeless individuals over a three-year period.
According to HUD, the agency’s Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program is “providing 70,000 housing choice vouchers to local public housing authorities (PHAs) across the country to help Americans find and remain in housing.”
Some of the speakers said there’s a lack of public housing availability during the pandemic in some areas. Just the News asked Fudge if HUD is prioritizing American citizens over illegal immigrants for public housing units.
“The answer is no,” she said. “We are doing everything we can possibly do to take any person living in this nation off the streets. That’s kind of our posture. I think that is exactly where we are headed.”
Former Trump administration HUD Secretary Ben Carson was working on amending federal regulations in 2019 to prioritize citizens over illegal immigrants for public housing assistance. The status of that effort under the Biden administration was not clear until now. According to 2019 statistics, there were about 32,000 illegal immigrants living in public housing.