2023 Session

Budget Amendments - HB1400 (Member Request)

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Chief Patron: Hayes
Model Criminal History Screening Policy (language only)

Item 369 #2h

Item 369 #2h

Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation


Page 452, after line 16, insert:

"D.1. The department shall develop a Model Criminal History Screening Policy (Model Policy) pursuant to the following guidelines: (i) Any criminal history screening shall be conducted only after an applicant has met the housing provider's income and credit criteria. (ii) Any criminal history screening must be limited to the applicant and household members who are 18 years of age and older and shall consider only felony convictions that occurred less than five years before the date of application for housing and that are in one of the following categories: (a) Offenses including the sale, manufacture or distribution of any controlled substance as defined in Chapter 7, Title 18.2 of the Virginia Code, (b) Offenses involving fraud, including identity theft, use of stolen checks, counterfeiting and forgering, (c) Property offenses, including larceny, burglary, arson and other intentional damage to property, (d) Violent offenses against a person, including assault, battery and homicide, and (e) Sex offenses, including rape, sexual assault and taking indecent liberties with a minor. (iii) If the applicant has a prima facie disqualifying criminal history pursuant to D.1.(ii) the housing provider shall provide the applicant an opportunity to present evidence of mitigating factors such as: facts and circumstances surrounding the criminal conduct, the age of the applicant at the time of the occurrence of the criminal conduct, evidence of the applicant's good tenant history, evidence of the applicant's efforts at rehabilitation, time that has elapsed since the occurrence of the criminal conduct, or whether the criminal conduct arose from the applicant's status as a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or dating violence, or from the applicant's disability. If the evidence of mitigating factors indicates that the applicant doesn't present a threat to current residents, employees or property, the housing provider shall approve the application for housing. (iv) The housing provider shall develop a process to receive and consider evidence of the mitigating factors described in Section 3 and provide a complete explanation of this process in writing to every applicant for housing. Such process shall include written notification to the applicant of any adverse action by the housing provider.

2. Anyone denied admission to rental housing because of a criminal history by a housing provider that does not comply with the Model Policy developed by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) shall have the right to challenge such denial through a procedure developed and administered by the department. The department shall develop a procedure to be used to challenge denials of admission and make this procedure available to the public no later than November 30, 2023.

3. If a provider of rental housing received or receives for the development or operation of affordable housing, or as a rental subsidy for occupants of that housing, any state funds, including but not limited to funding from the Virginia Housing Trust Fund or the Virginia Opportunity Housing Tax Credit, that rental housing provider shall not consider an applicant's criminal history unless they do so in accordance with the Model Criminal History Screening Policy developed by the department."


(This amendment requires the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation to develop a Model Criminal History Screening Policy for rental housing.)