Landlords and local housing authorities are pushing back on a Trump administration plan to evict undocumented immigrants from subsidized housing, according to The New York Times.
The proposal from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would ban households with one or more undocumented member from living in such housing, but housing administrators and landlords say it would put the onus of immigration enforcement on them.
Under the proposal, released in April, they would have to evict up to 108,000 people receiving benefits, most of whom, they say, are some of their most reliable tenants when it comes to paying rent on time.
“The housing authority would bear the brunt of the expense of having to completely evict and go through the court action of having to evict these families,” Sylvia Blanco, the chief operating officer at the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, Texas, told the Times.
“We would be on the hook for having to pay for that,” she added.
The plan would also require public housing administrators to verify the immigration status of every resident every year, they told the Times, as well as issue eviction notices and potentially go through court battles with individual families, according to the Times.
In Austin, legal fees and staff expenses would cost about $1,000 per eviction, Blanco told the newspaper.
In Los Angeles, where at least 30 percent of public housing occupants are households that could be caught in the crosshairs of the policy, the enforcement cost would be nearly $10 million.
“You can imagine, if you’re forcing the eviction of nearly one-third of these very large public housing sites, the impact that has on households as well as the broader community,” Doug Guthrie, the president and chief executive of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, told the Times.
Undocumented immigrants currently live with numerous families receiving housing subsidies, but the assistance is generally pro-rated according to how many members of the family are eligible, according to the Times.
“Most of our members are saying that’s a process that works,” Tim Kaiser, the executive director of the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association, told the newspaper.
HUD Secretary also reportedly questioned the directive when the White House sent it, although he has since defended it at a congressional hearing, saying “this is common sense. You take care of your own first.”
The Hill has reached out to HUD for comment.