California county bans landlords from conducting criminal background checks
California's Alameda County has banned landlords from conducting criminal background checks on their would-be tenants as part of an effort to curtail discrimination in private sector housing.
In a unanimous 4-0 vote, Alameda County's Board of Supervisors passed the measure this week, Fox News reported. Situated just outside of the San Francisco area, the county has experienced a rapid rise in both homelessness and the cost of housing.
The plan applies to both public and private landlords and also prohibits advertising that would discourage individuals with a criminal history from applying.
The California Apartment Association was critical of the measure, telling the outlet that "[r]ather than focus on building affordable homes and lifting its eviction moratorium, the county is wasting time by adopting new limits on a landlord's ability to protect the rights of their tenants and provide quality housing."
California in general has experienced a tremendous rise in its homeless population, brought on by a number of factors, not the least of which is the skyrocketing cost of living. Newly elected Los Angels Mayor Karen Bass, on her first day in office, declared a state of emergency to address the city's homeless crisis. An estimated 40,000 individuals are living on the streets in that municipality alone.