Bullock, Sturla co-host meeting on Fair Chance Housing

PHILADELPHIA, July 20 – State Rep. Donna Bullock and House Democratic Policy Chairman Mike Sturla today hosted a public hearing on Bullock’s Fair Chance Housing legislation, which would prohibit landlords from asking certain questions about a tenant’s criminal background.

Bullock, D-Phila., said that her legislation would model a recent policy change within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that disregards criminal records as a condition for housing approval.

"Too often, individuals who have criminal histories – and have turned a new leaf – find it difficult to find adequate housing," Bullock said. "As a basic right, and a condition of successful recovery, access to housing should not be based on one’s prior violations or indiscretions."

"Our neighbor Ohio has had success with programs aimed at assisting those with arrest histories," Bullock said. "The nationwide recidivism rate is 49.7 percent; Ohio’s is 27.5 percent. My proposal is a modest pivot toward changing how the commonwealth rehabilitates those with arrest histories."

"I applaud Rep. Bullock for her dedication to helping those looking to make a fresh start," said Sturla, D-Lancaster. "Access to housing is a basic need. Discriminating against those looking to get back on their feet and reintegrate in to society only serves to make them feel as though they need to turn back to old behaviors to make ends meet."