Oakland Moves to Ban Criminal Background Checks on Tenants

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Rows of new homes line a street in a housing development on Dec. 4, 2013 in Oakland. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Rows of new homes line a street in a housing development on Dec. 4, 2013 in Oakland. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Oakland has moved to pass the strictest law in California barring landlords from asking about the criminal history of possible tenants or rejecting them for having a record.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance that would cover both public and private rental housing, with some exceptions such as federally-funded Section 8 housing and homes where the owner lives.

A final council vote is set for Feb. 4.

Advocates say homelessness is a crisis in the San Francisco Bay Area and the measure will allow ex-cons to have an opportunity to put a roof over their heads.

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