Public Housing Common Sense

Lawrence Harmon, Boston Globe, September 26, 2010

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There are two types of public housing in the state–about 50,000 state-subsidized units and 34,000 federally-subsidized units. {snip} But at the state-subsidized developments–{snip}–it’s just step right up, no questions asked about citizenship status.

{snip} In Boston alone, there are about 20,000 families on the waiting list for 14,000 occupied public housing units. But the hands of local housing officials are tied by a 1977 court ruling–federal, no less–that has been widely interpreted to mean that no immigrant–legal or illegal–can be denied a state-subsidized unit “solely because they are not citizens of the U.S.”

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Illegal immigrants can really milk the system on rent day. Public housing tenants are required to pay about one third of their incomes for rent. But housing officials have no way to verify the incomes of illegal immigrants who work under the table. That allows some illegals to report no income and live rent-free. {snip}

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