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New Orleans Public Housing Opens Its Doors to People With Criminal Records

The Housing Authority of New Orleans has approved a new policy on criminal background checks that will remove the ban on residents with criminal records.
March 31, 2016, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Joseph Sohm

"The Housing Authority of New Orleans passed a sweeping new policy Tuesday (March 29) that eliminates a ban on providing housing assistance to people with criminal records," according to Richard A. Webster. "The revised background check procedure, instead, creates a process in which each person's case will be reviewed on an individual basis."

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will have final approval—a prospect made more likely when HUD Secretary Julián Castro voiced approval for the policy change on Twitter

Websiter's coverage of the news includes more details about how the reviews will work in the future, and how the policy will offer people with criminal records better chances at receiving housing assistance. The new policy would come with limitagtions. According to Webster, "[t]he new policy does not override federal law, which forbids housing authorities to assist people listed on the lifetime sex offender registry or convicted of producing methamphetamines on public housing property."

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Published on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 in The Times-Picayune
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