3A. Addressing Housing Barriers in Reentry: Housing Authority of New Orleans’s Criminal Background Screening Policy
New Orleans has one of the highest rates of incarceration per capita in the world. Criminal background screening policies have long posed a barrier to successful reentry of formerly incarcerated people. In 2016, thanks to local organizing efforts, the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) passed one of the nation’s most progressive criminal background screening policies. Workshop participants will hear from two community organizers and a legal services attorney involved in the passage of the screening policy, and will learn from HANO’s Director of Asset Management how the policy was implemented and how it works. Panelists will discuss limitations of the policy given the makeup of subsidized housing in post-disaster New Orleans and its impact on the city’s formerly incarcerated community.