What We're Fighting For
It’s time to end housing discrimination in New Jersey.
Right now, large, corporate landlords use criminal background checks as a tool to exclude Black and brown tenants from communities. Communities of color in New Jersey are over-policed. Black people represent more than 60 percent of the state’s prison population, despite being only 15 percent of the state’s broader population. And a staggering one in nine New Jersey Latinos can expect to be incarcerated — three times the rate for white non-Hispanic New Jerseyans.
The systemic racism in our criminal justice system continues to haunt returning citizens as they seek to rebuild their lives.
Minor convictions from years ago continue to haunt New Jerseyans today because landlords can use them as a pretext to deny housing.
There is no evidence that background checks make communities safer. Instead, the racist use of background checks prevent formerly incarcerated people from restarting their life, perpetuates cycles of poverty and drives them to re-offend.
It also drives segregation and has helped make New Jersey one of the most segregated states in the country.
Now that people from every corner of our state are rising up to protest systemic racism, we need to push out elected leaders to pass the Fair Chance in Housing Act, a landmark bill that would end this type of housing discrimination by limiting landlords’ ability to use background checks.