Background Policy

BACKGROUND POLICY.

JPNSI aims to be as inclusive as possible in providing housing to local residents, and to provide everyone with a fair chance to acquire housing. Accordingly, JPNSI adheres to the following guidelines when evaluating potential residents. A copy of this policy shall be provided to all applicants.

Advertisements, Applications, and Interviews

JPNSI will not use advertisements or applications that state or imply that anyone with a criminal record will not be considered for the rental or lease of property.

JPNSI will not inquire about a potential resident’s criminal record on the application or in initial interviews. It may, however, share this policy with applicants and inform them that a background check for certain criminal convictions may be considered as part of the application process.

Individualized Determinations

JPNSI recognizes that an individual’s criminal record does not necessarily mean that he or she will pose a threat to the health and safety of current residents. Accordingly, JPNSI will evaluate each applicant on an individual basis, and consider various factors in determining whether or not to accept an applicant, including but not limited to, evidence of rehabilitation, the length of time since the crime was committed, and the nature of the offense.

Crimes Considered

In order to ensure that this policy only considers convictions that have a direct and specific negative bearing on the safety of persons or property, JPNSI will only consider:

  • All felony convictions, except first-time drug possession convictions, and only when sentencing occurred within the past five years.
  • Only misdemeanor convictions involving domestic abuse, stalking, or firearm/weapons possession, and when sentencing occurred within the past three years.

JPNSI will not consider or base adverse housing actions on any of the following:

  • An arrest not leading to a conviction, unless it is currently under investigation or at trial.
  • Participation in a diversion or deferral of judgment program.
  • A dismissed, expunged, voided, or invalidated conviction.
  • A conviction or other determination in the juvenile justice system.

Rehabilitation

All evidence of rehabilitation shall be considered, including but not limited to, the following:

  • Gainful employment;
  • Enrollment in drug or alcohol treatment programs;
  • Participation in mental health counseling;
  • Participation in anger management programs;
  • Enrollment in education and/or job training;
  • Demonstrated financial accountability;
  • Involvement of family, friends or community groups in support network;
  • Age at the time of conviction;
  • Other mitigating factors offered voluntarily, such as explanation of the precedent coercive conditions, intimate physical or emotional abuse, or untreated substance abuse or mental illness that contributed to the conviction.

Adverse Housing Action

Should JPNSI intend to take any adverse action, including, but not limited to, eviction, failing or refusing to rent or lease a property to any individual, or failing or refusing to add a household member to an existing lease, due to an individual’s conviction within the past three years, JPNSI will take the following steps:

  • Notify the applicant in writing of the prospective adverse action;
  • Give the applicant a copy of any conviction history;
  • Specifically indicate the item(s) forming the basis for the prospective adverse action;
  • Provide the applicant with the opportunity to respond and delay any adverse action in order to reconsider in light of evidence submitted by the applicant.