Skip to main content

HUD Reinterprets Fair Housing Act to Protect Ex-Offenders

Phil Hall
Apr 04, 2016
The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) is preparing to add expand its anti-discrimination protections to include individuals with criminal records

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) is preparing to add expand its anti-discrimination protections to include individuals with criminal records.

According to a New York Times report, HUD Secretary Julián Castro is planning to unveil a guidance that incorporates the rights of ex-offenders for coverage under the Fair Housing Act. While the Fair Housing Act does not specifically include people with criminal records as being subject to federal anti-discrimination housing—and any amendment of the law would require congressional approval—HUD is offering an interpretation the legislation that would prevent property owners and landlords from using these records as the basis for disqualifying consideration of prospective residents.

“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 obtained by the Times. “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.”

However, not everyone with a criminal history will find a friend at HUD: the Fair Housing Act enables landlords from renting to those with convictions relating to the manufacture or distribution of narcotics.

“Policies that exclude persons based on criminal history must be tailored to serve the housing provider’s substantial, legitimate, nondiscriminatory interest and take into consideration such factors as the type of the crime and the length of the time since conviction,” said the new HUD guidance.

Published
Apr 04, 2016
CFPB Reports Trends In Financial Assistance

The latest developments from this study reveal that most consumers have exited the payment assistance they received at the start of the pandemic.

Analysis and Data
Jul 14, 2021
CFPB Orders GreenSky To Refund $9M In Unauthorized Loans

The consent order requires GreenSky to refund or cancel up to $9 million in loans for the customers harmed by this illegal conduct.

Regulation and Compliance
Jul 13, 2021
CFPB Warns Landlords And Consumer Reporting Agencies To Report Accurate Rental Information

Inaccurate rental or eviction information can unfairly block families and individuals from safe, affordable housing.

Regulation and Compliance
Jul 01, 2021
FHFA Mandates Quarterly Fair Lending Reports

FHFA issued orders for all enterprises to submit quarterly Fair Lending Reports with data and information to improve the FHFA’s capabilities. 

Regulation and Compliance
Jul 01, 2021
FHFA Follows CFPB To Protect Borrowers Once COVID-19 Foreclosure And Eviction Moratoriums End

The Federal Housing Finance Agency made it clear that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac servicers are not permitted to make first notice or filing for foreclosure that would be prohibited by the CFPB protections for borrowers affected by COVID-19.

Regulation and Compliance
Jun 30, 2021
CFPB Finds Evidence Of Redlining And Deceptive Acts In 2020

Enforcement actions resulted in more than $124 million in consumer remediation and civil money penalties in 2020

Regulation and Compliance
Jun 29, 2021