Seattle, prohibits screening of most prospective tenants


I seem to have a bad habit of posting topics at low foot traffic times πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ also praise me for typing all of this because I was too lazy to get the news on my phone instead of computer.

But Seattle, WA has chatter going on about

"Seattle City Council commuter approved legislation that would mostly prohibit landlords from screening prospective tenants based on their criminal histories."

"The only people who could be denied housing based on their criminal histories would be those listed on the sex offender registries because of adult convictions.

And landlords denying housing to such offenders would still need to state a legitimate business reason for doing so.

The proposed ordinance cleared the civil rights committee with a 6-0 vote, which means the full nine member council will almost certainly approve it.

Some landlords say they should be allowed to consider criminal histories of prospective renters to better protect their property and their tenants. During public comment period one stated that it would 'put the safety and security of tenants at risk and set property owners up for potential damage.' She also said that before adopting the regulations the council should commission its own study on if people with criminal histories tend to be worse tenants".

Meanwhile, proponents of this legislation say people who already served their time shouldn't be again punished by landlords. They say people denied by landlord can end up homeless and are more likely to reoffend than people with housing.

A council member stated "Nobody is more safe when people who have criminal backgrounds are unhoused." She pointed out studies of supportive housing programs in which criminal records were not shown to be predictive if problem tenancies.

The version sent to the council in June said landlords would be allowed to consider criminal convictions less than two years old, and it said landlord occupied buildings with four or fewer units would be exempt. The committee unanimously eliminated these stipulations.

What are your thoughts? I'm personally for this. As the main goals provided by the committee were pretty compelling. A few of which were listed but mainly

1. POC are disproportionately arrested for the same crimes as their counterparts, and also have more arrests without convictions. The council feels it's a true injustice to punish those who weren't guilty.

2. Denying housing creates homelessness and it boxes people into a situation where they reoffend. Nipping it in the bud by utilizing this regulation cuts down the number of homeless (Seattle and Olympia have their fair share).


Seattle City Council commuter approved legislation that would mostly prohibit landlords from screening prospective tenants based on their criminal histories. Adult sex offenders are not protected by this.

The argument against is that it opens owners and tenants up to hazards. A study for supportive housing showed that criminal records were not indicative of problem tenancies.

Those for it state that denying people housing for something they've done the time for or never committed (just got arrested) leads to homelessness and a higher chance of reoffending, as well as disproportionate arrests of POC that are unjust as they punish someone who isn't guilty.

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