NJ: Murphy signs historic law banning landlords from asking renters about criminal records (except…)

In a step toward racial equity and ending housing discrimination, Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed the Fair Chance in Housing Act, barring landlords in New Jersey from asking about criminal history on housing applications.

At the state’s first commemoration of Juneteenth as an official holiday, Murphy signed the historic “ban the box” bill (A1919), which advocates say is the most sweeping form of the law in the nation.

“With today’s action, Governor Murphy has put New Jersey at the forefront of criminal justice reform by helping to dismantle the impacts of a criminal justice system plagued by systemic racism,” said Eric Dobson, deputy director of Fair Share Housing Center. “Every person in our state deserves a home.”

Under the law, landlords will only be able to ask about criminal records on applications if the prospective tenants were convicted of a sex offense or were convicted for making meth in federally-assisted housing. Otherwise, landlords can’t look into criminal history until after making a conditional offer.

Dobson said the new law “sits at the intersection of housing, civil rights, and criminal justice reform” and will make reintegration into society easier by removing barriers that can block housing for people who served time in prison.

The barrier to housing contributes to recidivism — especially in a state where 30% of people return to prison within three years of their release — as well as homelessness and relapsing, advocates who fought for the law said. Incarceration disproportionately affects Black and brown communities in the United States, with Black people incarcerated at 12 times the rate of white people in New Jersey.

“Eliminating barriers to housing for those with criminal records is a critical step toward righting the wrongs that have unfairly impacted Black and brown communities for far too long,” said Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. “Housing discrimination has long-lasting impacts on individuals and communities, and today’s action will help break the cycle. I thank Governor Murphy for signing this historic legislation.”

Landlords can run a criminal background check on a potential tenant once the conditional offer is made, and would be able to consider indictable offenses of the first degree within six years, crimes in the second or third degree within the last four years, or fourth degree offenses within a year, according to the new legislation.

The law encourages landlords who find criminal offenses to weigh the nature of the crime, the length of time passed, and how the offense would affect the safety of the landlord’s property and other tenants. If the landlord decides to withdraw their offer, they must explain their reversal.

Tenants who feel discriminated against can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office, and landlords found to have committed wrongdoing would have to help the tenant find housing.

“Many times, it is before an applicant even has a chance to explain themselves or discuss the application that they have already been denied housing,” said state Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, D-Passaic, primary sponsor of the bill, adding that New Jersey is “fighting generational poverty, homelessness, and hopelessness through social justice reform measures such as this one.”

Newark is the only city in the state with a similar ordinance. Seattle, New York City, and Washington D.C. have similar statutes.

Source: https://www.nj.com/politics/2021/06/murphy-signs-law-banning-housing-discrimination-against-renters-with-criminal-records.html

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NJ people with a sex offense conviction aren’t allowed to participate in racial equality and justice reform that has destroyed black and brown communities for decades that’s just sad.
Deputy director of Fair Share Housing Act Center Eric Dobs
said every person deserves a decent place to live except the 4,671 people listed on the registry that live there, what a hypocrite.
Things are changing in America everyone knows the federal government criminalize A nation of people for over decades in order to oppress them and keep them from voting.

[Edited by Moderators for policy violation]

The second reason why the federal government is afraid is because the last Riots we had in this country wasn’t just black people out there protesting it was white people Asians, Mexicans, young and old it scared the Hell out of the federal government they never seen anything like that befor in America History
Seems like the closer America gets to equal equality and prison reform the further people with a sex offense conviction are getting from equal equality and prison reform
The scary thing is we already saw how the federal government treated the Afro Americans for decades imagine what they got instore for the families listed on the registry.

Good luck 🗣

Last edited 3 years ago by webmaster

Frankly, I won’t be surprised if these exemptions soon only apply to white registrants.
“Federal law now forbids discriminatory housing against those with a criminal past, except sex offenders…who are white.”

Think this is far fetched? Lori Lightfoot openly discriminates against white reporters with impunity.
The Harris administration extended farm subsidies to non-white farmers. (Yea, I know it was blocked temporarily.)

Actually, I hope to see this soon. Freedom for some increases the chance of freedom for all.

Murphy is like a mob boss trying to get rid of any chance of a successful life for those on the hit list; while other high re-offenses are welcome in utopia society. Jersey is a shitz state, home of Rep. Chris Sex Trafficking Expert Smith and the Kanka family.

Looking at the bill text at https://legiscan.com/NJ/text/A1919/id/2219117

b. After the issuance of a conditional offer to an applicant, a housing provider may only consider a criminal record in the applicant’s history that:

 (1) resulted in a conviction for murder, aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping, arson, human trafficking, or any crime that resulted in lifetime registration in a state sex offense registry;

    (2) is for an indictable offense of the first or second degree that was issued, or if the conviction resulted in a prison sentence that sentence concluded, within the 10 years immediately preceding the issuance of the conditional offer;

    (3) is for an indictable offense of the third or fourth degree that was issued, or if the conviction resulted in a prison sentence that concluded, within the five years immediately preceding the issuance of the conditional offer; or

    (4) is for a disorderly person’s offense that was issued, or if the conviction resulted in a prison sentence that concluded, within one year immediately preceding the issuance of the conditional offer.

What most people do not realize is that “any crime that resulted in lifetime registration in a state sex offense registry” includes ALL sex crimes in NJ. ALL are given lifetime registration but some can after 15 (tier 1) or 25 (tier 2) years petition the court to be removed if they have committed NO other crime, which even includes supervision violations (btw all those are felonies).

No animus here, right?

“The barrier to housing contributes to recidivism — especially in a state where 30% of people return to prison within three years of their release — as well as homelessness and relapsing, advocates who fought for the law said.”

Wouldn’t you want to ensure that someone that has committed a sex offense has EVERY opportunity to avoid committing another sex offense?

(Yes, I know recidivism in SO is low but the public seems to think it’s 100%; so, why not encourage housing, employment, etc?)

This is the same NJ guvnah who said considering the Constitution was above his pay grade too last year when the Constitution is why his is getting paid to govern NJ. Good grief…

This law like every other laws that believes in helping those with criminal records but excludes registrants is nothing more than discriminatory practice. No law like this should be passed that excludes those on the registry.

How very original…