February 1, 2018
For Immediate Release
City Working with ACLU to Increase Access to Fair Housing
SAVANNAH, GA (February 1, 2018)— The City of Savannah is working with the ACLU, Georgia Legal Services and the Savannah-Chatham Fair Housing Council to examine and, as may be appropriate, update the evaluative criteria set forth in the Savannah Police Department’s voluntary Crime Free Housing Program.
While the City does not concede that the program unlawfully denies housing to people with criminal records, the City Attorney’s Office will undertake a study and review, giving consideration to recent guidance issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition, the City welcomes the input of all stakeholders and has requested that the ACLU and its partners identify model policies and best practices they support to ensure the program continues to further the community’s interests in both equitable housing options and public safety.
The Crime Free Housing Program is an international program that has been implemented in more than 2,000 cities. The program originated in Mesa, AZ., in 1991, with Savannah adopting it in 2000. Under the program police officers collaborate with rental properties managers to reduce resident vulnerability, and increase the safety, well-being, and quality of life for the residents.
The City welcomes feedback from its community organizations and members as this process continues.
Today the ACLU issued a news release. It can be viewed here.