Location: SCR 352
Status Update on Task Force Housing Work Group
COMMITTEE ON TREATMENT OF PERSONS WITH MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
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12:18 PM -- Status Update on Task Force Subcommittees - Housing Work Group
Gina Shimeall, Advisory Task Force Member, provided an update to the committee about the Housing Work Group. She introduced Jaclyn Foote, a law student who has been assisting the work group with research. Ms. Shimeall provided a handout to the committee (Attachment I). She referenced the passage of Senate Bill 17-021, concerning reentry services for persons with mental illness in the criminal justice system, and the work the oversight committee tasked the work group with regarding the appropriations made in Senate Bill 17-021. Ms. Shimeall outlined the discussion between the State Housing Board and the Housing Work Group about the implementation of Senate Bill 17-021. She outlined the following legislative requests of the Housing Work Group:
- extending a repeal date in Senate Bill 17-021;
- implementing "Ban the Box" legislation;
- restricting rental application fees; and
- creating a multiple use of credit and criminal record background check for multiple applications.
Ms. Shimeall discussed issues that arise in the application process for housing related to credit checks and criminal record background checks. She referenced House Bill 17-1310, concerning an application screening fee that a residential landlord charges a prospective tenant. Ms. Shimeall outlined the proposal related criminal record background checks, often referred to as "Ban the Box." She explained the proposal to create a multiple use credit check and criminal record background check for housing applications. She further discussed the "Ban the Box" proposal, including limiting the amount of time a misdemeanor or felony can be considered regarding a housing application, providing notice of the screening criteria prior to submitting a housing application, and requiring the landlord to provide information about the denial of housing, if based on information discovered from a criminal record background check.
Senator Martinez Humenik made comments about the proposals, including suggesting that the "Ban the Box" legislation be renamed and specifying how long the multiple use credit and criminal record background check would be valid. Ms. Shimeall answered questions about the proposals. She discussed making certain requirements of housing projects that are funded by the state. In response to a question, Ms. Shimeall discussed the involvement of the Division of Housing in the Department of Local Affairs and other entities in developing the legislative proposals. She further discussed the challenges related to housing application fees and criminal record background checks for certain populations. Senator Martinez Humenik suggested involving Colorado Municipal League and other local governmental entities in developing the legislative proposals. Ms. Shimeall answered questions about the proposals related to housing applications. Committee members dialogued with Ms. Shimeall about the legislative proposals related to housing.
Mr. Martinez stated that the Prevention Subcommittee did not have a presentation or any bill proposals for the committee.