Arrest record not enough to ban public housing rental, HUD says

November 04, 2015
Public housing agencies may not deny housing to people based solely on their arrest records, according to new guidelines from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Nov. 2 directive is designed to reduce recidivism.
     An estimated 100 million in the United States have some type of arrest record. Each year, more than 600,000 people are released from state and federal prisons, according to HUD, which said that the less chance they have of securing a home, the greater the chance they will return to crime.
     The guidelines come at the same time that the Housing Authority of New Orleans is holding meetings with residents and landlords to hammer out its own criminal background check policy. HANO announced in 2013, when it was still under federal control, that it would no longer automatically bar people from housing or employment based on their criminal histories. But after more than two years it has yet to implement that policy fully, frustrating local housing advocates.