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Fair Chance Ordinances: An Advocate’s Toolkit

Organizers and advocates around the country are increasingly pressing local governments to adopt policies aimed at increasing housing access for people with criminal records by reducing the use of those records in the rental housing application process. This toolkit offers a step-by-step guide to developing such a policy. It discusses the key elements of a fair chance ordinance, including implementation and enforcement provisions, and highlights the various legal and practical considerations that need to be addressed during the drafting of a fair chance ordinance. It also provides a chart summarizing existing local fair chance ordinances as of December 2019. Download Toolkit Here. For more information, please visit NHLP’s webpage: Housing Opportunities for People Reentering... Read More »

Equitable Smoke-Free Policies in Public Housing

In celebration of the National Housing Law Project’s (NHLP) release of A Guide to Equitable Smoke-Free Public Housing, this webinar discusses the best practices for equitable implementation and enforcement of smoke-free policies. This guide is a resource for Public Housing Authorities, tenants, and advocates who are seeking to find the proper balance between two important public health issues– promoting smoke-free environments and ensuring access to affordable, stable housing. While the guide focuses on HUD’s Public Housing smoke-free rule, the philosophy of equitable implementation and enforcement can be applied to all types of rental housing. NHLP is joined by Kara Skahen, Program Director of Live Smoke-Free: Smoke-Free Housing, who discusses the importance of partnerships in creating, implementing, and enforcing smoke-free policies. Read More »

Equitable Smoke-Free Policies in Public Housing

Smoke-free policies are intended to improve public health and indoor air quality, reduce the risk of fires, and lower maintenance costs. On December 5, 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published its final rule, Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing, requiring public housing agencies (PHAs) to establish local smoke-free policies for public housing properties. Smoke-free policies undoubtedly have a positive health impact on many residents, including children. In their effort to mitigate the harmful effects of smoking, HUD and housing providers must consider how intervention to provide clean air may negatively impact the ability to house marginalized populations. A Guide to Equitable Smoke-Free Public Housing is a resource for PHAs, tenants, and advocates who are seeking to find the proper balance between two... Read More »

An Advocate’s Guide to Rural Housing Preservation: Prepayments, Mortgage Maturities, and Foreclosures

NHLP has drafted this advocacy guide about ​Rural Development ​rural ​rental ​housing preservation, which focuses on saving affordable rural homes and protecting residents against rent increases and displacement​. Specifically, this guide is designed to assist legal services attorneys and tenant advocates in understanding and preventing mortgage prepayments, mortgage maturities, and foreclosures in U.S. Department of Agriculture RD properties. The guide contains important information about key RD housing programs, the main threats challenging the long-term affordability of rural affordable homes, how to identify these threats in your own community, important tenant rights and protections, and litigation and strategy issues to consider. For additional assistance, please contact Gideon Anders (ganders@nhlp.org). Read More »

Achieving Housing Choice and Mobility in the Voucher Program: Recommendations for the Administration

An article by NHLP’s Deborah Thrope appears in the latest edition of the ABA Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law (Vol. 27-1). The article, Achieving Housing Choice and Mobility in the Voucher Program: Recommendations for the Administration, addresses key barriers to housing choice and mobility and provides policy recommendations to HUD that would help deconcentrate voucher families outside of high poverty areas. Read More »