Background Check Restrictions
The San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance prohibits covered housing providers from inquiring about or requiring disclosure from affordable housing applicants or potential applicants any of the following:
- An arrest not leading to a conviction, except for unresolved arrests.
- Participation in a diversion or deferral of judgment program.
- A conviction that has been dismissed, expunged, otherwise invalidated, or made inoperative.
- A juvenile conviction.
- A conviction that is more than 7 years old.
Notice of Potential Adverse Action
Housing providers are required to provide applicants with individual notice of their rights prior to running a criminal background report. Housing providers must also perform an “individualized assessment” of “directly-related” convictions or unresolved arrests and provide an applicant an opportunity to explain why the application should not be denied.
The Ordinance covers any entity that owns, master leases or develops affordable housing, or an agent that makes tenancy decisions for a covered housing provider. Covered housing providers must post this notice in English, Spanish, Chinese, and all languages spoken by more than 5% of San Francisco’s population.