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Fair Chance for Housing - Institute for Justice and Opportunity

Fair Chance for Housing

Fair Chance Housing convening

The Institute hosted a convening of students and representatives from 20 different organizations who are committed to ending housing discrimination against people with criminal records. Members shared their ideas for legislative change and discussed strategies to end housing discrimination.

While New York’s state laws have protected people with conviction histories from professional discrimination for decades, there are no protections for people seeking housing aside from housing funded solely by the state. All other landlords can refuse to rent homes to anyone who has ever been arrested—no matter how minor the offense or how long ago it occurred. Too often, those with conviction histories who have been denied housing find themselves relegated to the streets, shelters, and unregulated, substandard housing.

We lead a coalition of human service providers, attorneys, and activists—including people who have experienced housing discrimination firsthand—to change discriminatory policies. Ensuring that people with conviction histories have equal access to safe and stable housing strengthens our communities.

To learn more about this campaign and help end discrimination, visit fairchancehousing.org.

Fair Chance Housing workshop

The Institute’s Policy Initiatives and College Initiative (CI) joined together for a CI student-led workshop, Fair Chance Housing: Legislative Advocacy. Participants explored the issue of criminal record discrimination in housing by sharing personal experiences, learning about the current legal framework, and discussing opportunities for reform.

Relevant Resources:

Watch our powerful 4 minute video about the racist impact of background checks in housing across generations. Housing is a human right and having a record is no reason to be denied a safe, stable home.