“We have a ‘no felony’ policy.”
“If you served time in the last 20 years, we won’t take you.”
“We don’t even look at an application if you have a criminal record.”
“Arrested? You can’t live here.”
If you’ve heard any of those statements (or others), call the Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan at 877-979-FAIR (3247) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are ready to help and all of our services are free. www.fhcmichigan.org/background
Federal laws do not currently prohibit housing discrimination on the basis of criminal background or arrest record. However, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) acknowledges the widespread racial and ethnic disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system and therefore criminal history-based restrictions pertaining to housing are likely to disproportionately burden African Americans, Latinos, and other people of color.
While the Act does not prohibit housing providers from appropriately considering criminal history information when making housing decisions, the use of arbitrary and overbroad criminal history-related restrictions or bans are likely to lack a legally sufficient justification and can be as discriminatory. If you think you have experienced housing discrimination or have a question about fair housing, call us at 877-979-3247.
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