The Fair Chance Housing Ordinance prohibits the use of criminal histories for most offenses in determining access to housing.
On April 14, 2020, The Berkeley City Council passed the Ronald V. Dellums Fair Chance Access to Housing Ordinance (BMC 13.106). With some exemptions, the Ordinance prohibits rental housing providers in Berkeley from asking about and using criminal history and/or criminal background checks in their rental housing advertising, applications, tenant selection process, or decision-making.
Rental housing providers must prominently include a notice prepared by the city (Notice to Rental Applicants and Tenants) on their application materials, websites, and at any locations under their control that are frequently visited by Applicants. Civil penalties apply for violations of the Ordinance.
Access to Forms and Information
For information about prohibited conduct, exemptions, and filing a complaint, and to access all Fair Chance Housing Ordinance forms, including the Notice to Rental Applicants and Tenants, see the Rent Board’s Fair Chance Housing Ordinance webpage. Forms are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.
The Berkeley Rent Board administers complaints related to the Ordinance, and Rent Board housing counselors are available to answer questions about your rights and responsibilities. To contact a housing counselor: