HUD New Guidance on Criminal Records and Fair Housing Act


April 25, 2017


Paul Flogstad

  1:00 PM ET | 12:00 PM CT | 10:00 AM PT | 60 Minutes


HUD released a guidance letter regarding blanket criminal background checks on April 04,2016. This is fundamentally a type of dissimilar impact that affects those with criminal backgrounds.

Dissimilar impact is defined by HUD as a violation of the Fair Housing Act when the landlord’s policy or practice looks non-discriminatory and has no intent to discriminate but leads eventually to a discriminatory effect. A landlord may treat all applicants precisely the same, but the application process results undesirably against a protected class resulting in a dissimilar impact. 

On the other hand, criminal background checks can come into play with dissimilar impact even if a landlord runs a background check evenly and against every prospective tenant. However, the landlord may end up discriminating against minorities because they are arrested, convicted and imprisoned disproportionate to their share of the general population. All these rules make achieving compliance a complex and challenging task for landlords, administrators and agents of multifamily properties.

This webinar by expert speaker Paul Flogstad will explore the basics of fair housing, disparate impact and the new HUD ruling. He will also address the many challenges rising because of the guidance and discuss plans to maintain compliance. As per the April, 2016 guidance letter in consideration, Paul will examine the changes in policies and procedures of multifamily properties as to how to implement this guidance.

Session Highlights:

  • Basics of Fair Housing
    • Seven federal protected classes
    • Steering
    • Reasonable accommodation
    • Reasonable modification
    • Assistive animals
  • Definition of Disparate Impact
  • What is “Adverse Impact”
  • How does this affect the protected classes
  • Disparate impact theory under Title VII
  • How does this ruling affect development activities going forward
  • Understanding the new HUD guidance letter and the impacts it will have on property owners and managers when it comes to applicants applying to your property who have a criminal or felony background, especially when you have a blanket policy of not allowing anyone with a criminal background
  • How the ruling affects certain protected and non-protected classes
  • What is the difference between arrests and convictions and how does that pertain to the guidance letter

Who should attend:

  • Property Managers
  • Property owners
  • Maintenance Staff

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