Calling on State Legislators to PASS, "AN ACT RELATIVE TO HOMES FOR ALL"

Massachusetts State Legislators

Justice 4 Housing introduces  H.1799 & S.866 "An Act Relative To Homes For All." Legislation.

The transition from prison to the community is rife with challenges. But before formerly incarcerated people can address health problems, find stable jobs, or learn new skills, they need a place to live.

Given the well-documented over-representation of people of color in our criminal legal system, denying people housing based on conviction records is often a proxy for denying people based on race.

Lack of stable housing leads to further justice involvement and incarceration.

Homelessness is criminalized in numerous jurisdictions, as people experiencing homelessness are disproportionately at risk of arrest, and as policing is sometimes the primary resource a jurisdiction deploys to address homelessness

Prison Policy Chart

The first national snapshot of homelessness among formerly incarcerated people, showing that past incarceration and homelessness are linked.

Finally, the notion that denying people housing will increase safety is misguided. Ultimately, an inability to meet economic needs is a key driver of violence. When we eliminate barriers to housing, we improve neighborhood safety for everyone


Petition by
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Sponsored by

To: Massachusetts State Legislators
From: [Your Name]

Dear State Legislators

We are supporter's for the "An Act Relative To Homes For All." We are asking to pass H.1799 & S.866 to:

1. Prohibit housing discrimination in rentals, leases, subleases, or occupancy agreements in Boston on the basis of arrest or conviction record.

2. Prohibit landlords and real estate brokers from doing background checks or inquiring about arrest or conviction record information at any stage in the application process.

Homelessness exacerbates the “revolving door” of incarceration, formerly incarcerated people are more likely to be arrested and incarcerated again, thanks to policies that criminalize homelessness.

Private background check and tenant screening businesses are largely unregulated and often purchase information from non-official sources. As a result, background checks are prone to errors and do little to show the safety of a prospective or current tenant. In fact, a recent joint investigation by 'The Markup' and 'The New York Times' found that renter background checks can be wildly inaccurate

In fact, in 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued guidelines that, given the racial disparities of the criminal legal system, housing policies that include a blanket ban on people with conviction records violate federal fair housing laws.

SUPPORT "An Act Relative To Homes For All"

SPONSORED BY Senator Change Diaz & Rep Liz Miranda: