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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: June 4, 2021 03:53 PM
From: Representative Amen Brown
To: All House members
Subject: A Fair Chance in Housing
The ability to obtain housing should be accessible by everyone, regardless of their background. When applying for a rental home, some Pennsylvanians are experiencing housing discrimination to a greater degree than their counterparts due to past criminal history. One of various components to reducing recidivism is ensuring housing security. By simply checking a box saying that one has a criminal history, individuals are more often than not immediately denied that opportunity to secure housing. We must do our part, as they have done in our neighboring state, to change a discriminatory housing practice.
And, that is why I plan to introduce legislation where criminal justice and housing rights intersect. It is time we put an end to such discriminatory practice and “ban the box” that asks whether a person has been convicted of a crime on rental applications – also understanding that the persons being impacted the most are Black and brown communities.  This approach will give individuals and their families a fair chance at putting a roof over their heads and having a sense of stability.  
We must ensure a more equitable housing market for all Pennsylvanians. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.