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53 U. Rich. L. Rev. 923 (2018-2019)
Racism Knocking at the Door: The Use of Criminal Background Checks in Rental Housing

handle is hein.journals/urich53 and id is 959 raw text is: 


   Valerie Schneider *


   One of the harshest collateral consequences of an arrest or con-
viction is the impact a criminal record can have on one's ability to
secure housing. Because  racial bias permeates  every aspect of the
criminal justice system as well as the housing market, this collat-
eral consequence-the   inability to find a place to live after an ar-
rest or conviction-disproportionately  affects minorities.
  In  2016, after decades of appearing  to encourage  local public
housing  providers to adopt harsh policies barring applicants with
criminal  records, the Office of General  Counsel  for the United
States Department   of Housing  and  Urban  Development   (HUD)
issued guidance  instructing public and private housing providers
to take in to account the potentially disparate effects of such poli-
cies on racial minorities (the HUD  Guidance'). Recognizing  that
African  Americans  and  Latinos  are arrested, convicted and in-
carcerated  at rates disproportionate to their share of the general
population, HUD   advised  that any policy that restricts access to
housing  on the basis of criminal history may  have  an unlawful
disparate impact  based on race.
   The HUD   Guidance   on the potentially disparate impact of the
use of criminal background   checks has remained  in place, though
it is expected to be rolled back like many other Obama-era policies;

    * Associate Professor of Law, Howard University School of Law. J.D., 2006, George
Washington University Law School; B.A., 1998, University of Pennsylvania.
   The author expresses gratitude to Dean Holley-Walker and the Howard University
School of Law, which funded her research through a summer stipend, and to the individual
members of the Howard University School of Law faculty who provided feedback in the early
stages of drafting. Additionally, the author would like to thank Professor Carol Brown and
the University of Richmond Law Review for putting together a thought-provoking sympo-
sium on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. Finally, the author thanks her
excellent research assistant, Candace Caruthers, for her thorough and thoughtful work.


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