Press Release

National Housing Law Project Applauds New Hud Proposed Rule To Give Everyone A Fair Shot At Housing

HUD’s proposed rule would dismantle barriers to public housing programs

WASHINGTON  D.C.— The National Housing Law Project today released the following statement by Evictions Initiative Project Director Marie Claire Tran-Leung in response to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposed rulemaking to dismantle barriers to public housing programs:

“HUD’s action today is a big step towards ensuring that everyone has a fair chance at housing. People who have a history with the criminal legal system have been categorically denied housing, despite their records being old, minor, or irrelevant to whether they can be a good neighbor or tenant. Barring people from some of the only housing they can afford often means barring families and whole communities from a safe, stable, and healthy home.

“Most people know or love someone who has been part of the criminal legal system. HUD’s proposed rule would end the discriminatory practice of excluding them from public housing just because they have a record. It would require public housing owners and providers to be more rigorous in tenant screening by only considering a person’s history if it might impact health and safety.

“Black people and other communities of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and survivors of gender-based violence are more frequently and harshly criminalized. HUD’s proposed approach would advance equity, begin to undue government harm, and expand access to public housing for communities whose overrepresentation in the criminal legal system reflects systemic discrimination.”

In 2022, NHLP and members of its Housing Justice Network developed a set of recommendations for HUD’s internal review of its criminal history policies and practices, some of which were included in today’s proposed rulemaking. NHLP’s An Affordable Home on Reentry is the seminal guide for legal practitioners and other tenant advocates to overcome criminal records barriers to HUD-assisted housing.

Read the press release here.