O'Neill Institute  |  June 13, 2024

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In April 2024, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed revisions to the federal regulations that govern tenancy decisions for persons with a criminal record, a finding of criminal activity, illegal drug use, or alcohol misuse. The proposed revisions would require that public housing authorities (PHAs) and other assisted housing owners individually assess an applicant’s suitability for housing. This revision seeks to align the federal regulations with HUD guidance and minimize unnecessary exclusions from these vital programs while maintaining the health, safety, and peaceful enjoyment of residents, staff, and communities.

Housing insecurity is significantly associated with increased rates of recidivism and decreased retention in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and recovery programs. Given the critical role stable housing plays in the reentry process for persons leaving incarceration, the Addiction and Public Policy Initiative at the O’Neill Institute supports HUD’s proposed regulatory revisions. The comment letter includes recommendations to adopt “Good Samaritan” language and additional guidance on harm reduction supplies.

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