Alameda County Bans All Criminal Background Checks for Housing
Progressive Alameda County has become the first in the nation to pass a law banning landlords from conducting criminal background checks on applicants, a move purportedly meant to reduce housing discrimination against the formerly incarcerated. The so-called “Fair Chance” housing ordinance will prohibit landlords, both in private and public housing, from using criminal records in their evaluation of prospective tenants. A few cities in California passed similar measures, and two counties have adopted partial restrictions but not nearly as broadly as the Alameda County ordinance. In years past, California legislators have also introduced state bills to ban certain background checks for housing.