News Story (Washington)
December 12, 2015
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Tags: Criminal Records, Expungement / Record Sealing
Organizations mentioned/involved: Columbia Legal Services (Washington State)
or anyone in Seattle, finding an apartment amid rising rents and fierce competition for desirable digs can be time-consuming, frustrating and exhausting.
For people who’ve served hard time, it can be even more difficult. Many landlords use background checks and warnings on applications to screen out prospective tenants with criminal records.
“Many people can’t obtain housing because they have a criminal history,” said Merf Ehman, a staff attorney at Columbia Legal Services. “They end up living with friends, couch surfing, living with family members if they can, or homeless, living on the street.”
That’s why a group of Seattle organizations led by Columbia Legal Services will launch a campaign Monday pushing the city to enact new legislation banning landlords from automatically rejecting all prospective tenants with criminal records.