By Liam Dillon, Bill Poston
Assembly Bill 1418, which takes effect Jan. 1, will ban local governments across California from enforcing crime-free housing policies. Not only do crime-free housing rules stop landlords from renting to those with prior convictions, but many also call for the eviction of tenants based on arrests or contact with law enforcement.
Dozens of cities and counties in California began implementing the laws during the wave of “tough on crime” measures in the 1990s, with local elected officials, police and prosecutors contending they helped keep neighborhoods safe.
But crime-free housing policies have come under increasing criticism as unfair, unforgiving and racially discriminatory. The blanket bans have prevented spouses and children of those convicted from accessing housing and forced evictions of domestic violence victims after police responded to their apartments.
Under AB 1418, local governments will no longer be able to mandate landlords evict and exclude tenants for alleged or prior criminal conduct. It does not prevent landlords from initiating nuisance-related evictions and screening prospective residents based on criminal histories of their own accord.
Source: L.A. Times