The Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) strives to offer meaningful access to public housing and employment opportunities for people with criminal records and to keep communities safe and vibrant. Vera is providing research and policy guidance to HANO to inform screening processes that will allow for individualized assessments of the suitability of people with criminal convictions for HANO-assisted housing and employment in the city of New Orleans. This approach aims to reduce long-term negative consequences of criminal convictions while fostering fair and safe communities.
HANO is committed to addressing barriers to affordable housing and employment faced by those with criminal records. Advocates of workers’ and convicted people’s rights as well as residents, developers, and HANO staff are involved in building a comprehensive policy that will treat those with criminal convictions more fairly while ensuring the safety of the community. To help develop policies that achieve these goals, HANO turned to Vera. A team comprising members of Vera’s Family Justice Program, Legal Department, and New Orleans Office is using its collective expertise in criminal justice research, public housing policies, risk-assessment instruments, and the local impact of convictions to address this challenge.