The new guidance issued Monday, April 4, 2016 by HUD is one that we have talked about in Rent Well classes for quite awhile now.

“Policies that exclude persons based on criminal history must be tailored to serve the housing provider’s substantial, legitimate, nondiscriminatory interest and take into consideration such factors as the type of the crime and the length of the time since conviction,” the guidance reads.

Source: Federal Housing Officials Warn Against Blanket Bans of Ex-Offenders – The New York Times

What does it mean for renters and landlords? Landlords need to consider each applicant, and make a determination based on the individual circumstances.

What it does not mean is that landlords have to rent to anyone, even those who are a danger to persons or property. It means that a drug charge of a small amount of marijuana in the 1970’s is not the same thing as a major meth lab last month. It also means that people in their 50s-60s (and older) should not be refused housing only because of mistakes made in their late teens. It means that people really can change are should be given the opportunity to prove it.

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