Seattle Fair Chance Housing Law effective February 19, 2019

Fair Chance Housing Legislation

In August 2017, the City of Seattle passed Fair Chance Housing legislation to help prevent discrimination in housing against renters with a past criminal record.

The new ordinance prevents landlords from unfairly denying applicants housing based on criminal history. It also prohibits the use of advertising language that automatically or categorically excludes people with arrest records, conviction records, or criminal history.

The legislation caps a decade-long effort to address discrimination against people who have served their time, are seeking to provide for themselves and their families, and yet have faced barriers to accessing safe, stable housing.

The ordinance will go into effect on Feb. 19, 2018, and will be enforced by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights. Our office is currently drafting administrative rules to provide guidance on any areas of the ordinance that remain unclear.

We have convened a stakeholder group to provide input on the administrative rules, and will be collecting comments and concerns from the public. Our office will also offer training opportunities for landlords, tenants, and others to learn about the requirements under the new law.

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