Brown: Legislature must act now to guarantee housing access for all Pennsylvanians

Brown’s legislation would enable families to secure safe housing and help ensure a sense of stability and belonging for state residents

HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Amen Brown, D-Phila., has announced the introduction of new legislation in the state House to help ensure fairness in housing, remove unnecessary barriers, and allow for more Pennsylvanians to have a chance at secure and stable housing.

“The ability to obtain housing should be accessible by everyone, regardless of their background,” Brown said. “We must do our part to end discriminatory housing practices in our state.”

When applying for a rental home, some Pennsylvanians are experiencing housing discrimination due to past criminal history. One component to reducing recidivism is ensuring housing security. By simply checking a box saying that one has a criminal history, individuals are often immediately denied that opportunity to secure housing.

Brown plans to introduce legislation to impact where criminal justice and housing rights intersect. The legislation would put an end to such discriminatory practice and “ban the box” that asks whether a person has been convicted of a crime on rental applications, acknowledging that the people being impacted the most are Black and brown people. This approach would provide individuals and their families a fair chance at putting a roof over their heads.

“We must ensure a more equitable housing market for all Pennsylvanians,” Brown said.

For more questions about this legislation, residents may contact Brown’s office at or use the contact form on the official website at