Convened by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, the Partnership for Just Housing is a multi-state collaborative of advocates working to end housing discrimination against justice-involved individuals and to advance economic and race equity at the intersection of housing and criminal justice. Justice involvement can often pose a significant obstacle to affordable housing, with the burden falling most inequitably on people of color, who are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. Housing providers often screen for criminal records using overbroad criteria that sweep in individuals whose records are too old, too minor, or just plain irrelevant. Meanwhile, through the use of crime-free and nuisance ordinances, a growing number of municipalities deploy their law enforcement not simply to fight crime, but also to harass, destabilize, and drive out Black and brown families from their city limits.
The time is now to end to the discriminatory impact of the criminal justice system on housing. The Partnership for Just Housing works to reduce the discriminatory impact of the criminal justice system on housing by: (1) breaking down unfair barriers for people with criminal records; and (2) ending the use of crime-free and nuisance ordinances as a tool for segregation.
Members of the Partnership address the discriminatory use of criminal records screening and crime-free/nuisance ordinances at the state and local level. These efforts consist primarily of litigation, legislation, and policy advocacy. Members come from a variety of backgrounds: legal services, policy advocacy, fair housing, and civil rights. Members also include national partners tackling these issues at the federal level or across multiple jurisdictions.