HUD Releases Guidance on Criminal Background Checks
On April 4, 2016, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued guidance addressing Fair Housing Act liability regarding the use of criminal background checks or screenings in housing determinations.
This guidance expands on the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision holding that individuals and groups can challenge housing policies or practices that have a disproportionate adverse effect on protected classes (i.e., a disparate impact) – even if there is no discriminatory intent behind them.
HUD's release of this guidance and the positions that HUD takes throughout the document suggest that the agency is focused on this issue and will likely to be investigating and bringing enforcement actions for certain uses of criminal background screenings.
For more information on this topic, please read our April 12, 2016 client alert.