Below is a faithful reproduction (highlighting added) of an otherwise non-public* document which the Huntsville Police Department provides to landlords who are members of their “Blue Star Crime Free Multi-Housing Program”.
It includes a mandate for landlords to reject applicants who have ever committed a violent felony, or two non-violent felonies. The ACLU has previously argued that mandates such as these, with no statute of limitations, violate the Fair Housing Act.
Both the official website for the Program and its inaugural press release give no indication of this; almost all major program details are non-public; one must “fill out [an] online interest form” to “get in touch [with] a program representative”. Their intentional mischaracterization of the program: omitting such essential facts in favor of declaring it “A solution oriented program” and talking up its “various regulations and standards[, such as] solid-core or metal door[s], … secure ground-floor windows, proper lighting and maintenance of bushes and trees…”, is highly suggestive that they know exactly how legal what they’re doing is, and would rather the details not be made public for that reason.
I make this post because of HPD’s sneakiness in this matter. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
These are the Huntsville Police Department’s Crime Free Multi-Housing Program evaluation standards for criminal histories of prospective residents. Any of the following– revealed by a criminal history check– constitute mandatory grounds for rejection of a rental application beginning with anyone applying on or after August 17, 2017.
- Any violent felony
- Any non-violent felony, within the preceding five (5) years
- A total of two (2) or more felonies during any period
- A total of three (3) or more misdemeanors within the preceding five (5) years
Other criminal histories/issues
- Probation/Parole for any felony within the past five (5) years
- Currently on Probation/Parole
- Active Warrants
- Sex offender/predator registry requirement
- Pending charges (on a case by case basis)
*I want to emphasize that this document is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, breaking: a quoted Google search for its introductory phrase at the time of publication yielded zero results. It’s no secret that HPD has this program; what is revealed here is the stringent and quite possibly illegal requirements which it places on landlords.
I have also e-mailed a copy of my original document to ACLU of Alabama; I will update this segment of this post with links to any of their press releases or otherwise media attention this gets.