HUD Proposal Would Soften ‘One-Strike’ Policy

The U.S. of Hous­ing and Urban Devel­op­ment (HUD) is tak­ing aim at hous­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion against for­mer­ly incar­cer­at­ed peo­ple, reports Eleanor J. Bad­er for Truthout.

The describes the his­to­ry of the ‘one- rule’ that kept peo­ple with crim­i­nal records out of pub­lic hous­ing and new efforts being made by and fed­er­al author­i­ties to lim­it dis­crim­i­na­tion in pub­licly sub­si­dized hous­ing. “The state of New Jer­sey and a small num­ber of have passed Fair Chance for Hous­ing laws to lim­it what land­lords can ask prospec­tive ten­ants and restrict how far back they can go in some­one’s per­son­al his­to­ry.” A New York law lim­it­ing how far land­lords can search a crim­i­nal record and when they can con­duct back­ground checks will apply to both pub­lic and pri­vate mul­ti-fam­i­ly hous­ing.

“In addi­tion, the fed­er­al Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Urban Devel­op­ment (HUD) has pro­posed reg­u­la­tions for pub­lic and HUD-sup­port­ed hous­ing and to pro­tect those at risk of evic­tion fol­low­ing the arrest and con­vic­tion of a house­hold mem­ber.” HUD’s new­ly pro­posed rule require pub­lic hous­ing author­i­ties (PHAs) to “con­sid­er mit­i­gat­ing cir­cum­stances” and fac­tors beyond a crim­i­nal record to make the process fair and equi­table.

As Bad­er notes, “Ten­ants and advo­cates know that the HUD regs, as pro­posed, are only a small step toward hous­ing jus­tice, which will also require mas­sive out­lays of mon­ey for the con­struc­tion or ren­o­va­tion of units that are tru­ly afford­able to low- and mod­er­ate-income peo­ple. At the same time, they know that even changes can help.”

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