Filmmaker and former inmate Matt Duhamel has launched an organization to expand rental housing opportunities for the formerly incarcerated—particularly those who were convicted of sexually-based offenses.
VANCOUVER, WA, September 20, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — Filmmaker and former inmate Matt Duhamel has launched an organization to expand rental housing opportunities for the formerly incarcerated—particularly those who were convicted of sexually-based offenses.
“Fair Chance Housing For All,” or FCHFA, lobbies alongside other fair chance housing organizations to pass laws and ordinances making it easier to secure rental housing for those who face a constant challenge finding safe and stable housing. Duhamel believes that eliminating barriers and providing more housing opportunities will reduce recidivism among those with felony records relating to sexually-based offenses. He adds that transient offenders are several times more likely to commit new sex crimes.
Duhamel is hoping that Vancouver, Washington will consider a law similar to one already in place in Seattle, which prevents unfair bias against renters with a criminal past. This is a personal endeavor for Duhamel: he still experiences rental housing challenges twelve years after his own conviction, despite maintaining a spotless record.
Duhamel notes that the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development indicated in their 2016 HUD Criminal Screening Guidance that, “over time, the likelihood that a person with a prior criminal record will engage in additional criminal conduct decreases until it approximates the likelihood that a person with no criminal history will commit an offense.”
While Duhamel understands the myriad of housing guidelines facing people on the sex offender registry, he insists that “all offenses are not created equal,” and urges community and lawmakers to take a closer look at this issue. “It’s simply no longer in the best interest of a housing provider to automatically assume, without a case-by-case review, that a rental applicant with a past conviction of a sexually-based offense remains a dangerous threat to the community.” Duhamel states.
FCHFA will also utilize Duhamel’s considerable experience as an award-winning filmmaker. His company, Metamora Films, explores the housing issue in the acclaimed documentary, NOT FOR RENT!, which he describes as a gritty educational film. Duhamel also plans to film new profiles of former inmates that are fighting for housing stability, despite the odds. The profiles will be available on the FCHFA website.
FCHFA MISSION STATEMENT:
Reducing recidivism by eliminating barriers to rental housing for people with felony records and sexually based offenses.
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