Public Charge and Housing: Fact Sheets, Talking Points, Public Comments, and Webinar

The National Housing Law Project condemns the Trump Administration’s attempt to punish legal immigrants and their families for accessing critical, lifesaving benefits.

The Public Charge Rule, finalized on August 14, makes it easier for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to determine certain immigrants to be a “public charge”, which can result in someone being denied admission into the country or prevent someone from receiving a green card. Under the Public Charge Rule, an individual may be deemed a public charge because they use, or might use, vital health, nutrition, or housing assistance programs. Certain immigrants can be deemed a public charge even if they have never received federal benefits based on several factors including income, age, health, and education level.

If not blocked in court, the Public Charge Rule will go into effect October 15, 2019 and will drastically change immigration policy by expanding the types of benefits that DHS considers in public charge determinations to include benefits such as Medicaid, SNAPS, public housing, and Section 8 housing subsidies.

The National Housing Law Project, along with over 300 organizations nationwide, partnered with the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign to help lead the charge against the proposed version of the rule during the public comment period, which closed December 10, 2018. We’re happy to report that over 266,000 comments were submitted, the vast majority of which oppose the public charge rule.

To learn more about the rule and what you can do:

Questions? Please contact Arianna Cook-Thajudeen at