The “non-discriminatory” document repeatedly emphasizes it is established to protect African Americans and Hispanics.
Julian Castro, Secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development, released a new “fair housing policy” Monday, specifically to address guidelines relating to a landlord’s refusal to rent or renew a lease based on an individual’s criminal history.
HUD notes that as many as 100 million U.S. adults – nearly one-third of the population – have a criminal record of some sort. Yet many encounter significant barriers to securing housing, including public and other federally-subsidized housing, because of their criminal history.
[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“African Americans and Hispanics are arrested, convicted and incarcerated at rates disproportionate to their share of the general population,” and consequently, minorities are discriminated against disproportionately when seeking housing, due to their criminal records, HUD claims. [/pullquote]
The new policy stipulates that “A housing provider violates the Fair housing Act when the provider’s policy or practice has an unjustified discriminatory effect, even when the provider had no intent to discriminate.”
“Today, I am proud to announce new guidance that makes it clear HUD will use the full force of the law to protect the fair housing rights of folks who’ve been arrested or who are returning to their communities after serving time in jail or prison,” said Julian Castro, the secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“The fact that you were arrested shouldn’t keep you from getting a job and it shouldn’t keep you from renting a home,” Castro said Monday at an annual meeting of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
HUD is also making it clear that “one strike” policies that bar anyone with a prior arrest record from renting public or private housing will no longer be acceptable.
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