Opening the Door: Tenant Screening and Selection

Mar 2021

When an apartment becomes available in the Twin Cities, who gets to move in? And perhaps more importantly, who doesn’t? In partnership with Housing Justice Center and several partners based in Twin Cities communities, we examined the methods and systems used by rental property owners and managers to predict whether a tenant-applicant will pay on time and abide by the terms of the lease. We found that use of these methods and systems varies widely, impacting renters’ ability to access decent rental housing that they can afford.

This report describes how tenant screening and selection works in the Twin Cities and presents opportunities for improvement. We hope the report will inform rental owners and managers, renters, policy makers, and other stakeholders while encouraging changes to policies and systems to improve access to affordable housing.

We are grateful for critical research support from African Career Education Resource (ACER), Community Stabilization Project (CSP), Frogtown Neighborhood Association (FNA), HOME Line, New American Development Center (NADC), Pueblos de Lucha y Esperanza, and the Alliance. We also want to thank students from the Community Justice Project who also contributed to the research.

Rental Housing Stability
Who is it for?
Housing Advocates, Housing Providers, Policy Makers

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