Vera Institute of Justice Applauds HUD on Proposed Regulations Protecting People from Housing Discrimination Based on Conviction History

April 10, 2024
Contact: Hannah Eddy,

(New York, NY) – This week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed regulations that will prevent people from being automatically denied admission into HUD-subsidized housing based solely on their conviction histories.

The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) applauds former HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman, and the Biden-Harris administration for its commitment to ensuring access to safe and affordable housing for everyone. Vera urges HUD to move through this process efficiently and finalize these regulations to protect people with conviction histories during the housing admissions process.

John Bae, director of the Vera’s Opening Doors initiative, issued the following statement:

"Decades ago, ‘tough-on-crime’ policies permeated all facets of our lives and the institutions that govern them. Housing was no exception. For too long, public housing authorities and other housing providers have used their wide discretion to bar people with records from housing. Communities of color, disproportionately impacted by mass incarceration, have felt the brunt of this discrimination.

“These policies do nothing more than reinforce the false myth that having a conviction history makes someone a bad tenant, and contributes to a vicious cycle of homelessness and incarceration. In fact, formerly incarcerated people are 10 times more likely to be homeless, and people who are homeless are 11 times more likely to interact with law enforcement.

“HUD’s proposed changes demonstrate how far we have come in our understanding of the criminal legal system and the lasting effects of incarceration. Implementing these regulations will bring us a step closer to ensuring that the right to housing is afforded to all.”

The proposed regulations address long-standing barriers to housing and will have a significant impact on communities throughout the country if enacted. Specifically, the regulations would ensure that:

  • HUD-subsidized housing providers and public housing authorities (PHAs) cannot automatically or categorically deny housing assistance to an applicant simply due to the presence of a recorded conviction, except where explicitly prohibited by federal law.
  • HUD-subsidized housing providers and PHAs must only consider criminal histories that are relevant to the health and safety of other residents and staff and are required to use individual assessments to determine whether applicants present a prospective risk to individuals or property.
  • HUD-subsidized housing providers and PHAs are required to establish a lookback period, however, any lookback period longer than three years following criminal activity will be considered unreasonable by HUD standards.

The public can provide feedback to HUD and respond to several questions concerning the regulations. Feedback can be provided at, docket (HUD-2024-0031), until June 10, 2024.


About Vera Institute of Justice:

The Vera Institute of Justice is powered by hundreds of advocates, researchers, and policy experts working to transform the criminal legal and immigration systems until they’re fair for all. Founded in 1961 to advocate for alternatives to money bail in New York City, Vera is now a national organization that partners with impacted communities and government leaders for change. We develop just, antiracist solutions so that money doesn’t determine freedom; fewer people are in jails, prisons, and immigration detention; and everyone is treated with dignity. Vera’s headquarters is in Brooklyn, New York, with offices in Washington, DC, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. For more information, visit

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