Sen. Kamala Harris of California and, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, both of whom are Democrats, are partnering on legislation that will make it easier for those with criminal records to receive government housing assistance, and limit landlords’ ability to evict such tenants, according to The Hill.
Harris, who is a 2020 White House hopeful, has been looking to fend off some accusations that her days working in the prosecutor’s office could make her seem unfeeling, and Ocasio-Cortez’ involvement is not unexpected, due to her propensity toward harsh punishments.
The bill, which has been named the Fair Chance at Housing Act, would prohibit landlords from evicting their tenants because of the actions of their guests or for a single incident of criminal activity.
“Too many people become involved in our criminal justice system and serve their time only to return home to face additional barriers to employment, education, and housing,” Harris said in a statement, according to The Hill.
“By requiring a higher standard of evidence and a more holistic review process, we are taking a significant step toward giving Americans a fair chance to succeed,” the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate added.
Ocasio-Cortez said that she believes “denying housing to those that have been formerly incarcerated increases recidivism.
“Today we are taking a step to make our communities safer,” the freshman Democrat went on.
Ocasio-Cortez previously engaged in a verbal battle with Housing Secretary Ben Carson over what is being called a “one-strike policy” as concerns convicted criminals, challenging the secretary to make these decisions on a case by case basis.
Ocasio-Cortez asked Carson, according to The Hill, if he would “support being able to move some of these policies over to a more holistic review?”
“You yourself asked for a case-by-case consideration. Should that case-by-case consideration be codified in federal law instead of having blanket, one-strike or no-fault policies?” she continued.
Carson appeared to sign that he would be open to hearing such changes out, saying that signal he is “always in favor of more flexibility.”