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One Strike to Second Chances: Using Criminal Backgrounds in Admission Decisions for Assisted Housing

housing policy debateThis article published in Housing Policy Debate considers the current state of research on recidivism and examines several questions critical to assisting housing providers in addressing new guidance released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has changed its position toward housing people with criminal records from strict one-strike policies in the 1980s to providing second chances to people leaving prison and jail. Findings offer direction for providers on understanding recidivism risk rates, considering risk and harm across crime types, and verifying rehabilitation and other evidence to design informed policies and procedures for using criminal records in admission decisions for assisted housing.