Fair Chance Access to Housing Ordinance

Ordinance No. 135181, Code Chapter 8.25, Effective February 4th, 2020 expands housing access for people with criminal records

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Fair Chance Access to Housing Ordinance Post Card
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Fair Chance Access to Housing Ordinance Frequently Asked Questions
Date Posted: April 10th, 2020 @ 2:21 PM
Last Updated: May 6th, 2020 @ 1:52 PM

What Does This Mean For Landlords and Tenants?

Housing Providers:

Generally prohibits rental housing providers from screening criminal history of applicants during the advertisement, application, selection, or eviction process

Housing Applicants:

An easier pathway for residents with criminal records to reintegrate and access housing…A strengthening of tenant rights through legal protection

Main Exceptions:

  • Owner occupied units such as single family homes, duplexes, triplexes, and ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units).
  • Tenants who seek to add a co-tenant.
  • Under certain circumstances, the housing provider may review the State’s lifetime sex offender registry after a conditional offer has been made, the applicant has consented, and been allowed to provide rebutting information.
  • HUD funded units are permitted to conduct limited background checks, if required by federal rules, after the applicant has provided consent and been allowed to provide rebutting information.

Implementation Information:

Housing providers have a six month grace period, commencing February 4th, 2020, within which they cannot be held liable for a violation unless a warning has been received.

Enforcement:

  • Applicants who believe their rights have been infringed in violation of this ordinance can file a complaint with the City and/or file a lawsuit.
  • Tenants who seek to provide housing to (a) close family member(s) with criminal history and are denied can file a complaint with the City and/or file a lawsuit.

Violations:

The City can issue civil penalties of up to $1,000 per violation. If an action is filed and the plaintiff prevails, a court may award damages, attorneys fees, and penalties.

Contact Information:
City of Oakland Housing Resource Center
250 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Suite 6301, Oakland,
CA 94612 / (510) 238-6182