Breaking news from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty…
As part of President Obama’s announcements today on re-entry programs, HUD has sent guidance to Public Housing Authorities and owners of other HUD-assisted housing related to arrests and convictions. This is a huge step in trying to ease people back into the communities after a period of time incarcerated. There was also supporting sentencing reform and an effort to ban the box on federal job applications.
Here is the guidance, fresh off the presses: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=PIH2015-19.pdf
In summary, it says:
- One-strike is not HUD policy
- Arrests are not sufficient evidence of criminal activity to support an adverse housing decision.
- Applicants and residents have due process rights if an adverse decision is being made based on criminal records.
- Apply any restrictions fairly and in accordance with civil rights laws.
- A list of best practices were also sent.
Many of us have advocated for this type of guidance for a long time and it is exciting to see it finally happen! The Law Center and the Fair Housing community will continue to push for more and broader guidance in the near future, particularly in the wake of the ICP Supreme Court case on disparate impact and the Fair Housing Act- which applies to all housing, not just HUD-assisted housing.
In the broader announcement, they are also announcing additional funding and programs to prevent/end the link between incarceration and unemployment and homelessness. We will have more details of this announcement in the future.
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