Memorandum on Eligibility of Mixed Families for Public and Assisted Housing

WASHINGTON, DC  20410-5000


March 11, 2004

MEMORANDUM FOR: All Regional Directors
    All Public Housing Agencies
    All Public Housing Field Office Directors

FROM:   William O. Russell, III, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Housing and Voucher Programs, PE

SUBJECT:   Eligibility of Mixed Families for Public and Assisted Housing

 The purpose of this memorandum is to clarify guidance dated December 26, 2002, on the admissions and continued occupancy policy concerning “mixed families.”  A “mixed family” is defined as a family whose members include those with citizenship or eligible immigration status, and those without citizenship or eligible immigration status.  A mixed family is eligible for prorated assistance.  Under 24 CFR, §5.520, a family is considered to be eligible if at least one member of the family (e.g., adult or minor child) is determined to be a citizen or to have eligible immigration status.  Persons without eligible immigration status are required to pay market rent such that no HUD dollars are used to subsidize them.  However, a public housing agency has the discretion in its PHA Plan to establish a preference for those families who are headed by residents with eligible status.

 In accordance with Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980, Section 404 of the Welfare Reform Act, and implementing regulations (24 CFR, Part 5, Subpart E), PHAs operating public and assisted housing programs must verify the citizenship status of each member of the household applying for housing assistance, and each new household member at the time of the annual reexamination.  Section 214 prohibits HUD from making financial assistance available to persons who are not eligible citizens or non-citizens.

See attached list of related frequently asked questions.


The following are related frequently asked questions on this subject:

Q. At a minimum does at least the head of household or the spouse of a mixed family have to have eligible status as a citizen or eligible immigrant?

A. No, the head of household or spouse does not have to have eligible status.  At least one member must be eligible, which could be a child.  Housing assistance must be prorated so only eligible family members are subsidized.

Q. If only a minor child has eligible status, does the PHA have to determine if such a household, headed by an illegal immigrant, can enter into a lease?

A. The PHA does not have to make this determination unless there is an issue as to
whether an illegal immigrant can hold a lease under State or local law.

Q. For continued assistance, do PHAs have to verify immigration status each year?

A. No, a PHA only has to verify status if there is a new family member.  A household member is required to submit evidence of eligible status only once during continuous occupancy.

Q.  For mixed families, can a head of household who does not have eligible status as a 
citizen or an eligible immigrant sign documents such as the lease, Section 8 Housing Voucher, etc?

A. Generally, yes, unless there is an issue as to whether an illegal immigrant can hold a lease under State or local law.

Q. Can PHAs establish preferences for those families who are with headed by residents with eligible status?

A.  Yes, a PHA may establish a preference for housing residents with eligible status.