HUD working to eliminate housing barriers for people with criminal records: report

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Tuesday announced an initiative aimed at reducing housing barriers for those who have criminal records, according to USA Today

The outlet obtained a memo in which HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge instructed employees to review policies that bar people with criminal histories from housing. 

The employees have six months to review policies, including guidance documents and model leases.

Fudge pointed in the memo to the overrepresentation of people of color in the criminal justice system as part of the reason for the review, USA Today reported.

“We must understand the potential discriminatory impact exclusions based on criminal history can have on protected classes,” Fudge said. 

The memo comes weeks after the Biden administration announced a plan to fight racial and ethical bias in home appraisals. 

The ​​Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity initiative will work to hold agencies accountable on the issue. 

“Because their homes are undervalued — because their homes are undervalued — because, understand, there’s a real consequence — Black and Latino people often have to pay more for their mortgage, receive less when they sell the home and are less able to access home equity lines of credit,” Vice President Harris said at the time. 

“This plan outlines a comprehensive set of actions that our administration will take to advance equity in the appraisal process. The home appraisal workforce is one of the least diverse in our nation.  Less than 5 percent of home appraisers in America are people of color,” she added. “This lack of diversity can introduce both conscious and unconscious biases that make home appraisals less accurate and less fair.”

The Hill has reached out to HUD for comment. 

Tags criminal reocrds federal housing HUD Marcia Fudge

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