Are 100,000 People Waiting For Public Housing In Houston Because Of Immigrants Living In The Country Illegally?

Our weekly check-in with the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

By Kristen CabreraJune 5, 2019 1:41 pm, ,

On Tuesday, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson tweeted that more than 100,000 people in Houston are waitlisted for public housing because immigrants who are living in the country illegally are taking up the spaces.

Is that a fact? Madlin Mekelburg of the PolitiFact Texas fact-checking team based at the Austin American-Statesman has the answer.

Mekelburg says there are a lot of reasons for the lengthy waitlist, including Hurricane Harvey. Undocumented residents are able to live in public housing if they have a relative who is eligible for the benefits. To put it in perspective, the number of households with undocumented residents is small nationwide, and makes up an even smaller percentage in Houston.

“There are a lot of historical factors that go into this,” Mekelburg says. “Houston has historically rejected government subsidies to build affordable housing, things along those lines. But Hurricane Harvey, which hit the area in 2017, had a huge impact.”

Hear how Carson’s claim scored in the player above.


Written by Chloe Bennett.