CA: California county bans landlords from conducting criminal background checks for housing

Source: 12/22/22

A California county has passed an ordinance that will ban landlords from conducting criminal background checks on prospective tenants, a move made in an effort to make it easier to get housing and curb discrimination. 

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 Tuesday to adopt a Fair Chance housing ordinance. One member abstained.  

The ordinance is part of a package of tenant protection bills.

The measure will prohibit both private and public landlords from requiring applicants to disclose arrests or convictions. It also bans advertising that discourages people with criminal histories from applying for housing.

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Still, does this ban apply to registered “sex offenders?” The article doesn’t specifically say. However, I do like the idea of not screening tenants for criminal records, as long as their credit is good and they have the ability to pay. This policy of not screening criminal records is not uncommon around the world. But I can understand landlord frustration with the moratorium. Some people are slouching off and not trying to pay the rent. They could have a light or perfect criminal record, but that doesn’t mean they’re good tenants.

A similar bill is being considered by a NYC’s City Council (but it would allow landlords to check the State’s sex offender registry.):

NYC considers bill to end tenant criminal background checks

Alameda county’s new ordinance allows landlords to review the sex offender registry.” Yup, I knew I would find the “except registrants” clause somewhere. 😏

California county first in US to pass law banning criminal background checks for housing California: The Guardian

Some how some Karen or Ken will out people on the list and spill the beans in many cases!

So basically, this so-called ‘Fair Chance Law’ says that registrants do NOT deserve a fair chance.
This is more ‘second class citizen’ stigmatizing against us.
It should be renamed the ‘Everyone deserves a fair chance except people on the registry so we can show you how much we hate them too law’.

Few thoughts…begining with general ideas. I grew up in Alameda County. In fact I spent, 4 out of 5 years of my life in Alameda county, or just over the border in neighboring Contra Costa County.

Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview, San Lorenzo and Sunol.

These places aren’t even towns. Some, like Simply, bearly qualify as “Communities”. The longest serving “Mayor” of Sunol was, and may still be, a stray dog that used to sleep at restaurant/Bar there. One of only, 3 restaurants that I recall being “In town”. I’ve never even heard of Ashland or Cherryland. Castro Valley is of a noticable size…takes a good 5-10 minutes to get from one edge of town to the other with no traffic. San Lorenzo, is similar in size, despite being completely surrounded by San Leandro…except one tiny section that touches Hayward…I think.

These places were mostly in my backyard then. Did my time in P-Town…before “Escaping” ALL…THE…WAY…. to WC….then in my 30’s…big, scary LA.

I assure you folks…none of the actual cities in this immediate area will adopt this. You’re talking 680 corridor cities…no way. Outside the corridor…Berkeley, maybe….Oakland, might….Hayward, possible. The bigger cities, that already have housing potentials for people with backgrounds.

There’s your, “Local perspective”.

Will this benefit PFRs? You already know the answer to that. The people that like at the website, will continue to look at the website. Might actually encourage other landlords, ones that may have never looked at the website before, to start. Never needed to look at the website before, the background check told them everything. Now, they will.

Much like all of those post-conviction relief laws that expunge or seal records, reduce Felonies to Misdemeanors, then expunge, this will benefit everyone but PFRs. Also like all of those other laws, the benefits others gain will create further hardships for PFRs.

As I am sure you are all well aware of…Soon, PFRs will be the the only people in CA with detectable felonies after Parole & Probation has ended. At least after P&P has been over for, X years. Yep, everyone else will get to hide their conviction, one way or another, after a certain period of time has passed…but PFRs will always have their convictions found by any that wants to look, and used however they wish…forever.

As the CA had made perfectly clear, continuing to create barriers to employment and housing, and all that goes with those, for people with convictions, only increases the likelihood of further criminal behavior…unless you’re a PFR. If you’re a PFR the best possible thing is to do everything possible to make PFRs jobless, homeless, broke, alone and miserable, free falling through a pointless, hopeless life with nothing to loose for as long as possible. Yes, anyone else trapped in this would be more likely to commit cries, but trapping PFRs into a lifetime of this, with no hope of ever escaping, produces the exact opposite effect…always and forever!

Yep, the State of CA has cracked the code on this! All you need to do is look at the amazingly low recidivism rates for PFRs to know this has to be true! So obviously, inescapable misery, with the constant treat of rejection, ridicule, exclusion, discrimination and violence works wonders at reducing recidivism! Anyone else trapped in this for life, would be far more likely to commit new crimes…but PFRs, exact opposite. It’s like magic…super convenient, self satisfying, universally beloved, constitute pandering magic…which is the best kind!

Ok, enough preaching to the choir. Time to go back to…free falling through my completely pointless, miserably hopeless life of near total isolation and constant low-grade, fear driven stress. The obvious reason why I have committed no new crimes since the one and only thing I have ever been arrested for. Maybe if the State could upgrade me from low-grade, fear driven stress to constant mind blowing terror…I would have extra, extra committed no new crimes…at a higher level of non-criminality! Yes, fear, misery and hopelessness could have produced a level of new crimes BELOW ZERO!

At this point, I should be at Negative 50 New Crimes… minimum! With enough hopeless…I could easily be at -250 new crimes, or even more! -1,000 is not impossible, but would have required more violence… beyond the Death Threat…the people that shot paint ball guns at me, and that guy that hit me in the back of the head with his elbow as he ran past me.

Yeah, I’ve gotten too good at pushing that low grade stuff into the background…need to keep me running around in screaming, Arm Flailing, panicky Idiocy at all times to get real…no new crimes…impact! I’m sure the State will work on that.

Ok back to the free fall.

Who believes this can be enforced. How’s the potential tenant going to prove the potential landlord used a background check at all? Naturally landlords want to know who they’re renting or leasing their property to. Who could reasonably blame them for doing so. I suspect that if the landlords filed for temp restraint on enforcement, they would likely prevail.

Apparently whoever wrote this ordinance neglected to consider Fair Housing laws or even looked at rules regarding Megan’s List. I’m not an expert by any means, but a quick online search confirmed my suspicions:

“The federal Fair Housing Laws make it illegal for landlords as a policy to refuse leasing to all applicants with an arrest or criminal conviction record. California’s Megan’s Law makes it illegal to use their Megan’s Law website or data to deny a registered sex offender housing.” —From the website

So, I’m thinking a letter from Janice would probably help eliminate the bit about allowing landlords to use the sex offense registry.