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HUD to Propose Clearer Rules for Renting to People with Criminal History

HUD Proposes New Rules for Renting to People with Criminal History

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is proposing new rules for public housing agencies and HUD-subsidized providers regarding rentals to people with criminal histories. The aim is to prevent unnecessary denials of housing assistance and comply with the Fair Housing Act.


Proposal highlights

  • The goal is to prevent unnecessary denials of housing assistance and comply with the Fair Housing Act.

  • HUD recommends assessing individuals on a case-by-case basis to determine if they pose a future risk to persons or property.

  • The agency suggests disregarding criminal history that is unlikely to bear on fitness for tenancy.

  • The proposed rules aim to address concerns that people with criminal records face barriers to finding housing and reduce discrimination against them.

  • Once finalized, the new rules will help the real estate industry comply with the Fair Housing Act and be the standard for government-assisted housing.

  • HUD has yet to announce a timeline for finalizing the proposed rules.


HUD plans to issue a Notic Proposed Rule Making within the next few weeks regarding rentals to people with criminal histories. The proposed rules aim to assess individuals on a case-by-case basis to determine if they pose a future risk to persons or property. According to the agency, criminal records that are unlikely to affect tenancy fitness, such as arrest records, sealed or expunged records, older convictions, and convictions not involving violence or harm to persons or property, should be disregarded. HUD also intends to offer new tools and technical assistance on HUD programs to support successful reentry from prisons and jails.

The proposed rules aim to reduce discrimination against people with criminal records, who often face significant barriers to finding housing. HUD notes that policies that unnecessarily deny housing because of a criminal history record can violate the Fair Housing Act of 1968, under the discriminatory effects rule HUD recently reinstated. HUD also plans to step up Fair Housing investigations and enforcement once the reforms are in place.

HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge says, "This Fair Housing Month and Second Chance Month, HUD recognizes that current criminal justice and housing policies have denied those seeking rehabilitation the ability to lead better lives. As we execute our action plan, I invite state and local housing agencies, owners, and property managers to partner with HUD to remove barriers to housing for people with criminal records and support people’s successful reentry to the community."


The announcement follows a review of HUD regulations, policies, and guidance to increase opportunities for qualified individuals and families to receive HUD assistance. The study found that many HUD regulations and sub-regulatory provisions could be improved and clarified.

Once finalized, the new rules will help the real estate industry comply with the Fair Housing Act and be the standard for government-assisted housing. HUD has yet to announce a timeline for finalizing the proposed rules.

Reference

New Rules for Renters with Criminal History | Florida Realtors. https://www.floridarealtors.org/news-media/news-articles/2023/04/new-rules-renters-criminal-history

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