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Government shouldn't force you to rent to ex-cons (editorial)

STATEN ISLAND -- We're missing something here.
If you want to rent an apartment and have a dog, the landlord can refuse.
If you want to rent but your credit is less than good, even though you're not a deadbeat, the landlord can refuse.
But if you want to rent and you just did 20 years in the slammer for killing your neighbor, the landlord might not have the right to refuse.
So says the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which says landlords cannot broadly deny housing to people with criminal histories.
Staten Island Rep. Daniel Donovan has a problem with that, and so do we.


HUD's position centers around the fact that blacks and Latinos experience a higher rate of incarceration, and denying housing to those blacks and Latinos with a record could be de facto discrimination.

"Government has no business dictating that people accept criminals in their own homes," Donovan told HUD. "How does HUD expect landlords to provide a safe living environment when they cannot prohibit criminals?"
Denying housing to someone with a criminal history has nothing to do with race. If it does, that is a violation of the Fair Housing Act, which guarantees protection to people seeking rentals or homes.
To be clear, technically called Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, it prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability.  Source Document