The Tide Is Turning on Accepting Felons

Because of Fair Housing concerns of disparate impact, there have been real-time changes to company screening criteria. Is the industry becoming more comfortable with accepting these renters?

By Brent Williams

Over the past few years, there has been a swing in the perception of felons as renters. Part of that change has been due to Fair Housing concerns of disparate impact, and now we are seeing real-time changes to company screening criteria.

We recently released our 2018 Resident Credit Screening Research Report (free download), and one of the questions asked whether the responder accepted felons at their communities. The “yes” answer changed little, from 6 percent to 8 percent, but the “Yes, but only after a certain number of years” answer saw a dramatic change over the past two years, from 39 percent in 2016 to 57 percent in 2018. Clearly, our industry is becoming more comfortable with the idea of accepting felons, as long as the felony occurred a certain distance in the past.

Read the blog.