On September 30th, First Focus on Children sent a letter to Secretary Fudge asking the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to issue an informational bulletin informing states of the vacatur of the 2019 Public Charge Final Rule and its impact on states. We urge HUD to follow the lead of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and issue a similar bulletin to states making clear that the 2019 public charge rule is no longer in effect, urging states to encourage their eligible immigrant populations to utilize housing assistance for themselves or eligible family members, and reminding states of their responsibility to safeguard the information of applicants and beneficiaries of HUD programs.

Excerpt from the letter:

At the time that the 2019 public charge rule was finalized, we had many concerns about the impact of the rule and its chilling effect on children’s healthy development. Unfortunately, those concerns materialized. The public charge rule and the resulting “chilling effect” not only impacted the use of health insurance programs but also enrollment in housing assistance. More than 1 in 7 adults in low-income immigrant families (26 percent) reported that they or a family member avoided a noncash benefit program for fear of negative repercussions for their green card status, and out of those families, one-third specifically avoided housing subsidies.

Read the full letter here.