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STATUS: Concluded

Use your voice to tell the U.S. government that the new rule to prohibit mixed-status families from accessing federal housing assistance unjustly harms certain survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).

Most undocumented immigrants are already prohibited from receiving federal housing subsidies. Nonetheless, according to current rules, an ineligible survivor of GBV can still reside in public housing together with at least one eligible household member – e.g. her U.S. citizen child. Subsidies are pro-rated based on how many household members are legally eligible for them. As a result, mixed-status families already receive lower subsidies than low-income families whose members are all eligible.

The proposed rule would take away even this limited access to public housing, forcing low-income mixed-status families to pay private market housing rates that they cannot afford. The only alternatives for many survivors and their children will be homelessness or return to a violent home. Perpetrators of domestic violence often keep survivors economically dependent to make it much harder for them to escape. This rule will help facilitate these manipulation and control tactics by abusers, punishing survivors and children – including U.S. citizens – in the process. 

Before the rule can be finalized, the government is required to review and respond to each public comment submitted by organizations or individuals about the proposed regulation. This is your chance to make your voice heard.

Below is a sample comment. NOTE: it is critical that you DO NOT simply copy and paste the model comment into the form you submit. The government will only review and respond to unique comments. Please reformulate the text, adding your own voice, professional expertise, and personal experiences or those of people you know, to explain why refusing access to subsidized housing will disproportionately harm survivors of gender-based violence.


Comments are due by Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.




I am writing in response to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposed rule regarding “verification of eligible status,” published in the Federal Register on May 10, 2019 (RIN 2501-AD89; HUD Docket No. FR-6124-P-01). I strongly oppose the proposed rule for the following reasons:

[Insert your own points here as to why you oppose the rule. For example:

The proposed rule will harm certain immigrant survivors of gender-based violence and their children, further preventing them from achieving safety and security. Traumatized, vulnerable survivors of gender-based violence face a multitude of challenges to their basic well-being. Access to safe, affordable housing is critical to their ability to flee abusive homes; in many cases, their survival depends on it.

The proposed rule would strip life-saving access to housing from survivors by prohibiting families from residing together in subsidized housing unless each household member is eligible for a subsidy. If this rule goes into effect, many survivors will be forced to choose between remaining in an abusive home or becoming homeless.

If the proposed rule goes into effect, it will also harm children exposed to gender-based violence who cannot begin to heal until they are no longer in a violent home.]

HUD should withdraw this proposal, and instead promote policies to further the well-being and best interests of traumatized immigrant women and children.


[Your name]


Comments are due by Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

Thank you for your help on behalf of vulnerable immigrant women and girls who courageously flee abuse in search of safe haven in the U.S.