Can I Purchase Property as a Sex Offender?
If you have ever thought about buying a house, you probably know that home shopping can be a stressful experience. Finding the right property can take weeks, months, or even years. When you finally find the perfect place, you must jump through the hoops of securing financing and closing.
For registered sex offenders, this process can be even more overwhelming. In Indiana, the law says a registered sex offender is prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of a public park, school, or youth program center. Registered sex offenders are also prohibited from living within one mile of their victim’s residence.
Because many neighborhoods are centered around schools and parks, buying a home as a registered sex offender can be a frustrating process.
Similar sex offender residency statutes have been challenged in other states. In California, for example, the state’s supreme court recently struck down a law that says registered sex offenders can’t live within 2,000 feet of a school. According to the California Supreme Court, the law amounted to a “blanket ban” that created homelessness, job loss, and drug and alcohol dependency among registered sex offenders.
Fair Housing Act and Registered Sex Offenders
Additionally, federal and state laws do not necessarily shield registered sex offenders from discriminatory actions taken by landlords, banks, and mortgage companies.
Although the Fair Housing Act is a federal law that protects people from housing discrimination, it also explicitly states that sex offenders are not a protected class.
Under the Fair Housing Act, being a registered sex offenders is not considered a “disability” for purposes of fair housing and access to housing. Thus, mortgage lenders and landlords are not required to afford registered sex offenders reasonable accommodations. This can open the door to discrimination.
Help for People Charged with a Crime
If you are facing prosecution for a sex offense, the stakes have never been higher. In many cases, these crimes center on young people, mistakes, and misunderstandings. It is critical to gather evidence early. Don’t wait to speak to an attorney. Call Razumich Law, P.C. today at (317) 983-5333 for a free consultation.
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