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06/14/2024 09:31 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=41714
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: November 8, 2023 02:18 PM
From: Representative Ismail Smith-Wade-El and Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, Rep. Jordan A. Harris, Rep. Rick Krajewski
To: All House members
Subject: Fair Housing Access: Sealing Eviction Records to Protect Tenants & Communities
 
Pennsylvanian’s families deserve access to safe and affordable housing where they can raise their children. Our workers deserve the opportunity to secure career-advancing jobs.

Records stemming from eviction filings, whether or not someone is actually evicted, can follow a person for years, making these things impossible. A single eviction record can cause irreparable harm to the lives of mothers and their children, disrupt workforce development for large swaths of communities, and strain existing social support systems throughout the state. These records can put vulnerable people in difficult and dangerous situations, putting survivors of domestic violence at risk.

Furthermore, because evictions are disproportionately filed against Black and Latinx women, eviction records may pose major fair housing challenges as more landlords employ automated tenant screening measures.
We can do something about that.

A statewide eviction record sealing policy is a common-sense, immediately impactful way to prevent eviction records from haunting tenants for years and protect them against discrimination and long-term housing insecurity. This policy will not only protect renters in the short term, but will also pave the way for more equitable housing and health outcomes for residents of all backgrounds. This means stronger neighborhoods, and healthier communities.

Pennsylvania was the first state to automatically seal criminal records, allowing more than a million Pennsylvanians a fresh start and access to family-sustaining jobs – we can do the same for housing.

Please join me, Representative Fiedler, Representative Krajewski, and Representative Harris – architect of Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate legislation. We can help ensure that housing in Pennsylvania is not about looking backward over our shoulders, but building forward for our families.
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Attached, please find Community Legal Services’ recent report on Eviction Record-Sealing and how it can protect our Commonwealth’s families.


 

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Introduced as HB1769