Rollback of Public Charge Rule Finalized; Housing Assistance Excluded from Public Charge Determinations

Date Published: 
September 13th, 2022

On September 8, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the Biden Administration has finalized the rollback of the Public Charge Rule, which previously stipulated that immigrants could be denied permanent resident status if they had received or were expected to receive food assistance, Medicaid, housing assistance, or other public benefits. The Trump Era rule could have also excluded mixed-status families from federally subsidized housing.

CLPHA has long advocated for the rescission of this rule and applauds the Biden Administration on its final decision to return to the prior rule that was in place for the past two decades. Crucially, the final rule stipulates that DHS will not consider housing benefits in public charge determinations. This means that noncitizen residents of public housing will not be denied lawful permanent residency or admission because they receive housing benefits. This final rule rolls back the 2019 Trump Administration-era rule, which used the receipt of housing benefits like Section 8, HCV, and other Public Housing assistance when determining if a noncitizen could become a public charge (and by extension whether they’ll be ineligible for federal housing benefits).

CLPHA Executive Director, Sunia Zaterman, released a statement on the recent final rule, which read in part, “The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities applauds the Biden administration’s finalization of the rule unwinding the Trump administration’s pernicious and patently unlawful Public Charge Rule that included housing assistance against immigrants and their families when applying for an adjustment of residency status.”

CLPHA supports the equitable and compassionate treatment of immigrants and their families when seeking federal housing assistance, and looks forward to continuing working with the Biden Administration to that end. 

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