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Florida mayor revamps program notifying landlords of tenant arrests

police Black and white close-up of silver handcuffs

Mayor Jane Castor of Tampa, Florida says she is working on revamping a program where law enforcement individuals contact landlords regarding any arrest their tenants may have.

The program called Crime-Free housing has been in place since 2013 and reports any arrest including those for misdemeanor crimes, the arrests of juveniles, and cases where charges were later dropped.

Since the programs inception, 1,100 people have been reported,  90% of those being black tenants according to the Tampa Bay Times.

After the publication made their investigation public, Mayor Castor announced that she will begin working on the program to combat it’s racial disparity.

Castor said Saturday that one of the major changes to the program would be what arrest will be reported and the way they are reported.

Under new guidelines,  police captain will now be responsible for signing off on the notices before they are sent and only “certain serious drug and violent felonies,” will be reported to the landlords if it happens on their property.

Despite the changes some activist groups are still not satisfied.

Yvette Lewis, president of the Hillsborough County NAACP says the program could still cause someone to be evicted solely based on an officer arresting them even if they are not convicted.

“This program needs to be stopped,” she said. “You’re treating housing as though it’s a privilege,” Lewis said.