A proposal that would restrict non-U.S. citizens’ access to federally subsidized housing could inflate the Los Angeles homeless population, five City Council members said Wednesday.

Public comments are currently being accepted on a request to change U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development rules to prohibit people who are not U.S. citizens from receiving financial assistance for public and specified assisted housing programs. Council members said that could drive more than 11,000 families out of their homes in Los Angeles.

“We cannot sit and idly allow this to happen,” City Council President Herb Wesson said. “This is like a weird movie that sucks. It is that unbelievable, and I think that it is that important that each and every one of us talk about this.”

Wesson introduced a resolution Wednesday asking his colleagues to go on record in opposition to the proposed amendment to the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980, which would also prohibit people who are not of eligible immigration status to be leaseholders in HUD public housing, even if more eligible people are living there than ineligible.

“Not only is this policy cruel, this is absolutely stupid and counterproductive,” said Councilman Mike Bonin. “If you’re one of those, right or left, who has been outraged at the increase in homelessness in Los Angeles, you must oppose this policy.”

Wesson and Bonin were joined at a news conference on the City Hall south lawn by colleagues Nury Martinez, David Ryu and Joe Buscaino.

The last day to comment on the proposed rule is July 9. People can leave comments at www.regulations.gov .

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