New York Close To Banning Criminal Background Checks From Housing Applications

The city of New York is fighting to find solutions to the ongoing homelessness crisis. Almost 50,000 people are said to be occupying New York shelters right now. Besides inflation and abnormally high rental prices, another barrier to housing is criminal records factoring into applications. As the New York Times reports, a piece of legislation seeks to end that practice that has abnormally affected people of color. The Fair Chance For Housing Act would ban landlords and brokers from seeking a person’s criminal records and stop them from denying housing because of prior arrests or convictions.

In New York alone, almost 750,000 residents have a criminal conviction record – 80% of which are Black and Latino. Due to discriminatory practices, New York City ranks as the third-most-segregated city for Black Americans in the US and second-most-segregated for Latinos.

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