In the last two weeks, I have been bombarded with emails inviting me to webinars and workshops and have received several articles on the new changes with immigration policy in the United States and how it relates to Fair Housing and eligibility.
The truth is there are no changes to eligibility or the Fair Housing rules. Immigration policy, however, has changed. The new administration has closed borders, they are not issuing green cards as much and they have drastically increased the rate of deportation for undocumented immigrants.
None of the new immigration policies affect how you screen a prospective tenant.
As usual, applicant will need to fill out an application and provide you with the information you need to start the process. If the applicant is a citizen of the United States or Puerto Rico than check one (1) on the Citizenship Declaration form. If he or she is not a citizen of either place than check two (2) on the form. After checking the correct box on this section of the form then obtain the written documentation you need to support this claim. For example, if the person is seeking “asylum” in the United States you would circle (b) and request all necessary paperwork to support this claim.
You are not in the business of deciding the law, you are in the business of maintaining the laws that are in place.
Therefore, you should continue the application process that is already in place at your building. If a non-citizen fits into one of the eligible categories and has paperwork to support his or her status then you would accept the applicant, as usual, barring no issues with any other aspect of their paperwork, of course.
At New Alt we want those in housing to provide quality services and I personally promote education and training. Despite the many emails from other organizations suggesting otherwise, new immigration policies do not change your current in-house application policies. You do not need additional training on the new immigration policies because they do not affect you.
Yes, please take a class that will expand your knowledge base, but make sure it is worth your while. Don’t just assume that because a person has a lot of letters behind their name that they are smarter than you. Look at the experience of the training and the quality of the program and then enjoy what you are learning.
Have a good week be back soon