RICHMOND, Va., July 27, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced new steps to support fair housing practices and affordable rent prices for people applying for and living in USDA-financed properties across the nation.
USDA is joining with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Trade Commission and Federal Housing Finance Agency to distribute guidance to landlords, operators and stakeholders on their responsibilities to alert rental applicants about information that is collected in tenant screening reports.
The Department is advising owners of USDA-financed rental properties to post a memorandum in common areas easily visible to all residents and visitors. This document outlines legal requirements for property owners and/or landlords to:
- Promptly notify applicants in writing if their applications for rental housing are not accepted.
- Provide applicants copies of consumer screening reports that were used to determine if applications are not accepted.
- Disclose with applicants who are seeking rental housing the name, address, and phone number of the tenant screening company included in screening reports.
Today's announcement is part of a series of actions to help fulfill commitments made in President Biden’s Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights. USDA plans to host a listening session in Fall 2023 for rural tenants to discuss ways to advance renter protections.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.