Section 2.3: Other Eligibility Issues

Assistance to Non-citizens

HUD offers the language below as guidance to grantees:

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 imposes restrictions on eligibility for receipt of public benefits. Governmental entities should consult with their legal counsel for interpretation. Nonprofit charitable organizations are not required to, but may, verify an applicant's citizenship or immigration status. If a nonprofit elects to do so, they should also consult with legal counsel, as they must follow the procedures required by the Act.

For the SRO Component Only

The SRO component of S+C does have specific requirements for non-citizens. These are detailed in 24 CFR Part 5, Subpart E. Citizenship or eligible immigration status must be demonstrated in order for a participant to receive S+C rental assistance under this component.

Citizenship or eligible immigration status can be proven with one or more of the following documents.

For U.S. citizens or US nationals:

  • Signed declaration of US citizenship or US nationality; and
  • Verification of this through presentation of a passport may be requested.

For non-citizens 62 years of age or older:

  • Signed declaration of eligible immigration status; and
  • Proof of age document.

For all other non-citizens:

  • A signed declaration of eligible immigration status;
  • The appropriate INS document; and
  • A signed consent form authorizing verification of status.

Non-Discrimination Laws

The S+C program is designed to serve eligible homeless persons with disabilities and is therefore not bound by certain constraints regarding nondiscrimination. Grantees can target persons with specific disabilities, as described in their application, so long as they can show that:

(1) there are enough eligible participants within that target population;

(2) there is no discrimination among protected classes (i.e., race, color, religion, sex, age, creed, familial status or national origin) in selecting persons for assistance within that target disability population; and

(3) referrals to other housing are made available for otherwise eligible homeless persons not in the target disability population.

This allows grantees to focus on the necessary supportive services to meet the specific needs of their target population.

Preferences for Target Populations

  • Grantees are allowed to establish a preference for one or more of the S+C targeted populations (seriously mentally ill, alcohol or substance abusers, or persons with HIV/AIDS). However, grantee organizations must take care not to discriminate among protected classes within the targeted group(s). (Section 582.330)
  • All other prohibitions against discrimination against disabled individuals also apply. (See Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits programs receiving federal funding from discriminating against people with disabilities.)

Affirmative Outreach

  • HUD requires grantees to ensure that program marketing efforts will reach as many eligible individuals as possible. If people of a particular race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, familial status, or disability who may qualify for assistance are unlikely to be reached, the grantee must identify ways to reach those interested persons through alternative outreach efforts.
  • The requirement to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing, including submission of a plan that addresses the elimination of impediments to fair housing identified in a community's Analysis of Impediments, does not apply to S+C or other Continuum of Care homeless assistance programs.

Additional information regarding nondiscrimination in programs serving a designated special needs population may be found in the Corporation for Supportive Housing report "Between the Lines," Chapter Four: Serving Designated Populations. The entire report is available through the CSH website: www.csh.org.