The Housing Authority Responds to Proposed HUD Rule Affecting Eligibility

NEWS RELEASE: May 23, 2019

The Housing Authority Responds to Proposed HUD Rule Affecting Eligibility            

Rule Focuses on Immigration Status of Household Members

EL PASO, Texas – On May 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a rule that would require all family members residing with the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP), verify their immigration status, make undocumented individuals ineligible as a leaseholder, and deny housing assistance unless every household member is determined to have eligible status.  Current law allows undocumented individuals to reside in federal public housing or receive a voucher as long as the head of household is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident.

The rule would allow Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to create the criteria for continued or temporary deferral of termination of assistance for affected families.  The deferral period may last up to six months with the option of an additional six months, but not to exceed eighteen months.

Gerald Cichon, HACEP’s CEO stated, “The potential changes to our residents is important to us and we are taking them seriously.  As we develop internal policies to deal with this proposed rule, we plan to keep the community abreast of any developments.”

HUD is the principal federal agency responsible for programs concerned with the nation’s housing needs, fair housing opportunities, and improvement and development of the nation’s communities.  Comments to HUD are due by July 9, 2019.


The Housing Authority of the City El Paso, TX (HACEP), the 14th largest housing authority in the United States and manages the 2nd largest public housing portfolio in Texas.  Home to the first NetZero, fossil fuel free, LEED Platinum affordable housing community in the U.S., HACEP provides high-quality housing assistance to over 40,000 low-income El Pasoans through its Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Tax Credit, Non-Subsidized and Section 8 New Construction programs.

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