On April 12, 2022, Marcia L. Fudge, Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), issued a directive to all relevant HUD program offices to make their programs as inclusive as possible for individuals with criminal histories.
As noted by Secretary Fudge,
“[w]e…cannot ignore the fact that persons who have been involved with the justice system are disproportionately racial minorities or persons with disabilities. We must understand the potential discriminatory impact exclusions based on criminal history can have on protected classes. As part of our ongoing effort to make HUD programs more equitable, we must do all that we can to prevent unfair and potentially discriminatory exclusions from our programs.”
This directive further recognized that, far too often, “criminal histories are used to screen out or evict individuals who pose no actual threat to health and safety of their neighbors.”
By October 14, 2022, each HUD office is to submit a report to HUD, detailing the office’s analysis, findings, and proposed amendments to policies and documents that create barriers to housing for persons with criminal histories. Each office shall propose changes or amendments to HUD policies or documents to make HUD’s programs more inclusive for persons with criminal histories and their families.
HUD has also released a new webpage with resources to help Continuums of Care (CoCs) – regional entities responsible for coordinating homelessness services – collaborate with partners to increase access to affordable housing for people exiting incarceration.
More from this Newsletter Issue: Summer 2022 Newsletter
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