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Mar-27-2017 15:00printcomments

Budget Cuts Could Signal New Direction Regulating HUD's Tenant Screening

A $9 billion or 13 percent reduction in funding could disrupt housing for "the less fortunate".

HUD funding elimination
The President’s 2018 Budget: www.gpo.gov

(WALTHAM, MA (PRWEB)) - Rapid change continues to move throughout the Federal Government and with recent leaks of budget cuts to key departments, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development, change will certainly accelerate.

Adam Almeida, President and CEO of TenantScreeningUSA.com opines: “Potential budget cuts inside HUD could signal a key change in direction and, perhaps, enforcement of key Guidance’s such as those released last year regarding the fair, legal, and lawful use of criminal background records as part of tenant screening.”

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is tasked with a variety of responsibilities including preventing “disparate impact” in housing.

Simply put disparate impact is a legal term indicating a discriminatory act of a disproportionate adverse impact against a protected class, typically race, religion, color, religion, and related.

From NationalFairHousing.org (No date given):

Disparate Impact is a legal doctrine under the Fair Housing Act which states that a policy may be considered discriminatory if it has a disproportionate “adverse impact” against any group based on race, national origin, color, religion, sex, familial status, or disability when there is no legitimate, non-discriminatory business need for the policy.

In a disparate impact case, a person can challenge practices that have a “disproportionately adverse effect” on those protected by the Fair Housing Act and are “otherwise unjustified by a legitimate rationale.”(1)

Almeida states: “HUD is also tasked with enforcement of guidance’s restricting the use of criminal records in applicant vetting for public housing.

"It should be noted that the private sector often follows the lead of the HUD regarding housing regulation. However with budget cuts and change in leadership direction what will remain in terms of enforcement remains uncertain.”

From the Washington Post (Mar. 08, 17):

The Trump administration has considered more than $6 billion in cuts at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to preliminary budget documents obtained by The Washington Post.(2)

Almeida concludes: “Ultimately there are enough warning signs that should alert every property manager and landlord to immediately review all tenant screening policies to ensure full compliance with all laws governing the use of criminal records and other related documents utilized in tenant screening.

"Uncertain times beg for certainty and by working with a well-qualified third-party tenant screening company landlords and property managers can gain a degree of certainty.”

TenantScreeningUSA.com is a third-party tenant screening company that can provide screening packages for landlords and property managers with property holdings large and small. A highly trained staff can assist in creating Tenant Screening packages that will keep landlords and property managers in compliance with current and potential laws and regulations.

Sources: (1) nationalfairhousing.org/PublicPolicy/DisparateImpact/tabid/4264/Default.aspx
(2) washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-administration-considers-6-billion-cut-to-hud-budget/2017/03/08/1757e8e8-03ab-11e7-b1e9-a05d3c21f7cf_story.html?utm_term=.3ff444e92ef3

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