Hello, Recently someone asked me how our community will screen for sexual predators. This caught me off guard since I had never considered this. Given that our community will have a large percentage of disabled and aging individuals this is something we should consider. Does anyone have any information on how this would relate to Fair Housing laws? I know this will differ state by state but in general are there any guidelines anyone can point me to? Would it be legal to screen for this? Could we require background screenings? Also, how can we protect individuals from any form of abuse including caregiver and financial?
as far as I am aware, background checks are allowed under fair housing as long as the housing is designated for vulnerable individuals - not certain though.
Great Q no matter where U R in the process (formed, forming, landed many yrs). I would suggest direct contact w/the FIC rather than a gen. Q to those on an open listserv. BUT…
Let me see if I can help.
My 1st thought is those who have offended are not destined to re-offend, have right to unfettered lives - but not harming others. That there is a wide spectrum of sexuality that IS acceptable by a wide spectrum of ppl. I could get into Y ppl predate on others (specifically sexually but that is far from the only way) and so on but to B brief… like all ‘community’ I’d assign this to a committee. Yep, more work.
A small group could poll members on wording for a statement on coercion (w/sexuality one of the ways we can do this 2 one’n other). What community policy IS on this could B an outcome (statement, how you all have agreed to wrk w/this - prevention, fact gathering, resultant treatment when identified, etc). Thus a structure is formed to carry you in time of need. Consequences become published so all can see the seriousness, rapidity of response (2 deterrents)…
Each state has different housing policy & if warranted this committee could look into your locale (requirements to list/have pic of offenders in publicly viewable places, etc). The docs could be checked to see if an applying member is on those lists. Yes there is fed legislation abt specific classes that one is not allowed to bar from open housing situations (generally only those supported by fed funds - different rules for different dwelling classifications - the communities’s legal structure - LLC, condo, separate ground lease, etc).
So congratulations. You (& others?) are thinking ahead of any curves in the road - makes for fewer surprises in the driving ! Keep up the good work and you may have several experts when reaching your goal. (A service for income - providing this data base to other communities?).
If there are children then you’re allowed to screen for this and deny access to those people who have sexually offended. If there aren’t children then it may be harder to deny those folks, but perhaps Kyra is right that the presence of vulnerable individuals could lead to being able to pick and choose more re. past lawbreaking.