Fair Chance Housing Ordinance Policy Brief
Just Cities
Policy Brief via Just Cities co-authored by #UnequalCities Network member Margaretta Lin

Abstract: As research and lived experience demonstrate, formerly incarcerated people experience significant barriers beyond the high cost of rent that prevent them from securing housing. They are screened out when applying to rent housing due to criminal background checks in private rental, nonprofit affordable housing, and public housing units. Even living with family members is not always a viable solution as it may put their family’s housing at risk– rental agreements may prohibit or limit people with criminal histories from residing in the units. Fair Chance Housing is legislation that prohibits the use of criminal histories for most offenses in determining access to housing. It also bans the use of advertising language that excludes people with arrest records, conviction records, or criminal history. In short, Fair Chance Housing legislation removes structural barriers to housing and enables landlords to consider the merits of individual housing applications—providing people with a fair chance.

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