California Globe: On Tuesday night, the Oakland City Council passed the Fair Chance Housing Ordinance, making criminal background checks on potential tenants in private and public housing illegal within the city.
The decision by the City Council was immediately praised by housing advocates, civil rights organizations, and groups who help rehabilitate ex-convicts. Housing advocates in particular saw this as a victory following a major eviction of a group of women who were squatting in an abandoned house in the city.
“A single mistake that happened years ago shouldn’t bar you from having a stable life once you paid your debt to society,” said Richard Spielman, an Oakland housing advocate. “We’ve seen too many criminals who turned their lives around or came back with a good paying job but couldn’t find true stability due to many landlords, especially around the Bay, not wanting to rent to ex-criminals.”
“We can finally have people move forward.”
City Council members also expressed their approval of the new ordinance, including Councilman and Vice Mayor Larry Reid. Reid, who’s son is currently incarcerated for conspiracy and accepting bribes, and is due to be released in the next several months, now has another barrier removed for renting. read more