The recent rescindment of the “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds” or “Public Charge Rule” is a win for the homebuilding industry, says the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
The rule, which was updated in Feb. 2019, was changed to expand the definition of who could be considered a “public charge.” Immigrants who were receiving government assistance, including housing assistance, were now considered “public charges” under the new definition. This meant immigrants who were either seeking to become permanent residents or seeking a visa change, would be encumbered with additional paperwork and delays in their process.
Since the expansion was introduced by the previous presidential administration, numerous entities, including the NAHB, rallied against it. The association commented that the rule would severely impact its members and the home building industry because of its effect on immigrant employees.
The NAHB believed that the updated rules’ impact on immigrant employees within the industry would result in even more construction workforce shortages and further delay home construction.
The shortage in workforce is not a new issue. According to an article by the MReport, back in 2019, the NAHB reported the dearth of construction workers as an issue that impacted home affordability.
With the housing market heating up, it was critical for there to be as few obstacles as possible to get construction crews working and homes being built.
The official notice was published by the Department of Homeland Security in the Federal Register on March 15th. Thus restoring the previous rule set in 1999, restoring the number of government assistance programs considered back to its original number and removed housing assistance as a qualifier.