For some time the mortgage industry, without success, has asked the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide a clear answer to the question of whether Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients are eligible for FHA loans.  HUD finally provided a clear answer in responding to an inquiry from Representative Pete Aguilar (D-CA): “DACA recipients remain ineligible for FHA loans.”

HUD policy, currently reflected in HUD Handbook 4000.1, provides that “[n]on-U.S. citizens without lawful residency in the U.S. are not eligible for FHA-insured Mortgages.”  In its letter to Representative Aguilar, HUD addresses the legal status of DACA recipients by referencing statements made by the Department of Homeland Security Secretary when DACA was established:

“In establishing DACA on June 15, 2012, Janet Napolitano, then the Secretary of Homeland Security, made clear that DACA is merely an exercise of ‘prosecutorial discretion’ and ‘confers no substantive right, immigration status or pathway to citizenship.’ Secretary Napolitano further stated that ‘[o]nly Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights.’”

We will have to see if HUD’s reliance on the status of DACA recipients to advise that they are not eligible to receive FHA loans prompts Congress to address their immigration status.