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Why You Should Attend
On any given night, over half a million people in our country experience homelessness. For the 700,000 Americans making the transition back into their community from prison or jail each year and the 1 in 3 living with a criminal record, finding housing is a particularly difficult challenge to overcome. “Fair Chance Housing” means that people with criminal records should not have to experience additional barriers to accessing housing because of their record. It also means that policies must follow federal, state and local laws that protect people from unlawful discrimination and laws that regulate background checks. This program will include nationally applicable material on educating yourself, your clients and your community on housing rights with a record, plus lessons from researchers, advocates and organizers on improving access to housing for justice systems-impacted people through policy reform.
What You Will Learn
Panelists will discuss "fair chance housing" advocacy, which aims to increase access to housing for people with past justice system involvement. We will discuss strategies including direct legal services, community organizing, and policy reform on the local, regional and national stages. The panel will provide an overview of the housing rights of people with arrest and conviction histories, legal avenues for challenging unlawful housing discrimination, and strategies for and lessons learned from reforming local and state housing policy. Finally, panelists will discuss building campaigns around “Ban the Box” housing ordinances and strategies for enforcement after such policies are adopted. You will also learn about free resources that can support Fair Chance Housing advocacy efforts!
Who Should Attend
This program has critical information for directly impacted people and families, landlords, social service providers, housing authorities, policymakers, civil rights and housing advocates, legal services providers, and legal practitioners who work in government, non-profit organizations and law firms focused on housing, civil rights, criminal justice, and racial and economic justice.