May 20, 2021

DC Council Testimony on the Eviction Record Sealing Authority Amendment Act of 2021

Natasha Duarte and Tinuola Dada

Written testimony

Upturn submitted this testimony supporting the passage of eviction sealing legislation in the District of Columbia and urging the DC Council to amend the bill to require all evictions to be automatically sealed at the point of filing.

Eviction records are artifacts of discrimination and should not be used to determine access to housing. In this testimony, we described how sealing is the best way to prevent tenant screening companies from circulating obsolete or misleading eviction records. We explained why sealing eviction records at the point of filing will not prevent housing providers from evaluating applicants' ability to fulfill their lease obligations, and we offered examples of jurisdictions that have passed or are seeking to pass similar legislation.