Take Action: Submit a Public Comment to Ensure Fair Screening Practices for Tenants with Conviction Histories!

HUD has released a proposal to update guidance to landlords of HUD-assisted properties to help eliminate unnecessary barriers that too often prevent tenants with conviction or arrest records from accessing stable, affordable homes. HUD’s proposed rule is a critical first step towards housing justice and racial equity. Because of historic and ongoing racism in our nation’s criminal legal system, Black, Latino, and Indigenous people are disproportionately harmed by screening criteria that unfairly deny people access to housing because of a history of conviction or arrest. Make your voice heard in support of fair screening practices and greater housing accessibility for people with conviction or arrest records by submitting a comment about HUD’s proposed rule! Submit a comment today!

Take Action: Submit a Public Comment!

Submit your public comment today! Advocates have until June 10 to submit a public comment on HUD’s proposed rule.

In the coming weeks, NLIHC and other leaders in the Partnership for Just Housing (PJH) will create resources, including a sample comment letter and talking points, to help advocates nationwide weigh in on this important issue. 

Advocates interested in leaving a comment on HUD’s proposed rule can also use the Vera Institute for Justice’s comment portal, which includes a template comment advocates can personalize.


Under current policy, public housing authorities (PHAs) and landlords of HUD-assisted housing have broad discretion in evaluating current and prospective tenants. As a result, some PHAs and landlords have created additional barriers for people with conviction and arrest records in need of stable housing.

These barriers can make it exceedingly difficult – and, for some with conviction histories, impossible – to obtain housing. Without a safe, affordable place to return to, people exiting incarceration are at a significantly increased risk of homelessness and reincarceration as communities across the country move to arrest or fine those experiencing homelessness. People who have been incarcerated once are seven times more likely to experience homelessness than the general population, while those who have been incarcerated more than once are 13 times more likely to experience homelessness. 

Because of historic and ongoing systemic racism, Black, Latino, and Native people are unfairly targeted and disproportionately impacted by the criminal-legal system. As a result, they are also more likely to be impacted by screening criteria that unfairly deny people access to housing because of a history of conviction or arrest.

HUD’s proposed rule would require landlords of HUD-assisted housing to perform an individualized assessment of potential tenants with a conviction history, taking into account mitigating factors like the length of time since the conviction, the nature and severity of the conviction, and what the applicant has done since the conviction. The proposed rule was created in response to former HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge’s directive to review HUD regulations, guidance, and policies and identify unnecessary barriers to housing access for formerly incarcerated and convicted individuals and their families. The April release also coincides with Fair Housing Month and Second Chance Month.

PJH is a working group co-led by NLIHC and the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, along with the National Housing Law Project (NHLP) and the Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People and Families Movement (FICPFM). PJH advocates for increased access to HUD-assisted housing for formerly incarcerated and convicted people and their families, while centering the needs and voices of directly impacted people.