If you haven't done so already, pull out your resident selection criteria and take a close look at the evaluation standards for applicants with criminal records. Depending on what it says, you may need to make some changes right away. Then review it in detail - and get help from your attorney, resident screening company, and other advisors to ensure that it complies with HUD guidelines. Richer offered some key best practices:
CRIMINAL HISTORY SELECTION CRITERIA BEST PRACTICES
What should you do in light of HUD's guidance? The first thing to realize is that the HUD guidance isn't intended only for HUD program housing providers, explained Richer.
Industry experts agree that the guidance provided by HUD applies to all housing providers, not just those receiving federal funding. The best practices are being recommended, so that any housing provider that uses criminal histories in its applicant screening process will consider disparate impact and review its criteria, adjusting as necessary, she said.
This is the first of four articles on the legal and practical considerations for housing providers when developing a criminal history screening policy. This is a BIG fair housing issue and one that produces a lot of phone calls to the MHCO Office.
It is very important for all housing providers to review and consider whether your current criminal screening policy should be revised to avoid a successful challenge in a fair housing case based on its disparate impact on minority applicants. "There are fair housing advocacy agencies that are actively searching for companies with simplistic and generalized criminal history policies to challenge. We don't want your companies to be those test cases," she said.
In this series of articles, the Coach presents highlights, along with FAQs about complying with fair housing law when screening applicants based on criminal history.
HUD recently announced that the owners and managers of a San Diego apartment complex have agreed to pay $17,000 to resolve allegations that they refused to grant a disabled resident’s request for a designated parking space close to the building.
There is a new documentary on President Carter's Camp David Accords. At Camp David, the president brought two warring countries to the negotiation table. The parties met daily, all day, every day until they reached and signed a peace agreement knows as the "Camp David Accords". An interesting ground rule was, no one, not even the three presidents of three countries could leave Camp David until they reached an agreement. That meant no sight-seeing, restaurant or bar-hopping by the leaders, advisors and staff. This was decades before iPhones, too.
It has happened to everyone; you pick up the phone smiling with your cheerful greeting only to have the person on the other end start yelling before you can even get your name out. Maybe you are out walking your property and a resident confronts you about their annoying neighbor and wants to know "what are you going to do about it? "Or, you are in your office with a prospect when your most demanding resident bursts in demanding to speak with you. Sound familiar?
Simply put, controlling conflict is part of the job. Residents, Prospects, Vendors, and even other team members can be sources of conflict for us. Conventional wisdom (and research) says that good communication can improve relationships, increasing trust and support. The converse is also true: poor communication can weaken bonds, creating mistrust and even contempt.
If we know that communication is the key to eliminating, or at least minimizing conflict, why can it be so difficult? It's typically because we have a very clear idea of "our side" of the argument. To solve a problem, it helps to stop for a moment to wonder what the other person us thinking. Here are some tips: