Fed Says Private Landlords Can’t Ban Ex-Offenders


In the past private landlords ultimately had the final say as to who they were able to rent to but times have changed and thanks to the Fair Housing Act HUD Secretary Julian Castro has said that ex-offenders can now sue landlords for discrimination if they are denied a rental in 2016 or in the years to come based on a prior arrest or conviction.

“Right now, many housing providers use the fact of a conviction, any conviction, regardless of what it was for or how long ago it happened, to indefinitely bar folks from housing opportunities,” Mr. Castro said in a statement. “Many people who are coming back to neighborhoods are only looking for a fair chance to be productive members, but blanket policies like this unfairly deny them that chance.” – Julian Castro

Source – Nytimes 

Changing Times

In a recent interview Julian Castro echoed the frustration of former criminals who are trying to get their lives together but have found themselves unable to rent homes, condos or town homes because of crimes they may have committed in the past. 

Although the Fair Housing Act does effectively change how private landlords run their businesses they can still turn down a renter if their prior conviction was for making or distributing drugs since these are the only crimes that are exempted under the Fair Housing Act.

Reduces Recidivism

Studies have shown that housing really does help tenants who also happen to have criminal histories re-enter society and enhanced action by HUD to insure that private landlords follow the Fair Housing Act will help insure that tenants who have been recently released from prison will be able to re-enter society without having to be concerned with where they are going to live.

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