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Category Archives: Featured

New HUD Guidelines for 2018

If you rent properties, you need to know about laws and issues regarding legal aspects of leasing. For instance, new guidelines released by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development may affect the way you approach the tenant screening process.

The end of April, HUD released a bill aiming to raise rent for families who receive housing aid to reduce long wait times for federal assistance and to increase self-sufficiency. This rent reform bill will set new boundaries and limits on assistance.

The Making Affordable Housing Work Act (MAHWA) of 2018 intends to amend the Housing Act of 1937 to introduce rent reforms and standards. HUD Secretary Ben Carson said, “The current system isn’t working very well. Doing nothing is not an option.”

The MAHWA bill is similar to draft reforms first reported in February 2018. President Donald Trump signed an executive order in April which mandates work requirements for benefits in preparation for welfare reforms affecting housing, food, and healthcare.

MAHWA establishes new formulas for calculating rent; that is, families must pay 35 percent of their gross monthly income or 35 percent of the total an individual would earn working 15 hours minimum per week for four weeks—whichever amount is higher. The bill also creates a new minimum rent for those presently exempt from paying the 30 percent, which includes the elderly and disabled.

In summary, the new legislation enables public housing authorities and landlords who accept vouchers to put in place work requirements for people who receive aid. While the bill does not indicate minimum or maximum hours of work to be set, or the nature of the work involved, it does give Carson the power to set those terms. And Carson’s theme is to promote self-sufficiency and better financial stability.


DataScreening is a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise that has offered business-to-business employment and tenant screenings to human resource professionals and business owners, including staffing companies, for two decades. Among other organizations, they are members of the ASA (American Staffing Association), SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) and the NAPBS (National Association of Professional Background Screeners).


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6 Reasons for Background Check Delays

Employment screening is a crucial part of the hiring process.  While an employer may want the most rapid response possible, it is wise to mitigate risk by being thorough and accurate. On average, an employment background check takes up to five business days depending upon the nature and scope of information requested. It can takeContinue Reading

ASA Paper Speaks to Ban-the-Box Laws

On February 28, the American Staffing Association (ASA) published an updated paper on staffing firms’ ability to conduct and use criminal background checks. The use of these tools falls under the purview of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and guidelines are subject to various EEOC requirements and state and local ban-the-box laws. Ban-the-box lawsContinue Reading

E-Verify and Employee Screening

  E-Verify is a federal website of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which will allow businesses to determine the eligibility of employees to work in the U.S. It is a free online system maintained by the government. E-Verify was first established in 1997 as a pilot program to prevent illegal immigrants and other peopleContinue Reading

Ban the Box and Criminal Record Laws

Employers and HR Managers are on constant alert for changes to state and federal background check regulations to prevent discrimination in hiring practices and screening laws. This includes the evolving Ban the Box laws. The phrase “Ban the Box” was coined by groups in a civil rights campaign on behalf of ex-offenders who frequently wereContinue Reading

Answers to Three Important Questions about Background Checks

What can a firm expect when outsourcing candidate background checks? The following Q&A may help you decide what is right for your business. Q.I have a small business and must carefully watch my bottom line. Why would I hire an agency rather than just use information at hand, like searching the Internet and Social Media,Continue Reading

The Story of the Gift that Wasn’t

Who of us has not seen or heard the ads for Publisher’s Clearing House (PCH)? Where the firm’s “prize patrol” appears at the front door with balloons, champagne and an oversized check for thousands of dollars? Haven’t you wondered why (if you have entered this contest multiple times over the years) you have never wonContinue Reading

Ways to Show Gratitude to Colleagues and Clients

Thanksgiving, with its cravings for turkey and a table full of family and friends, has quickly passed and our thoughts turn from thankfulness to what we want for Christmas – wait . . .  thankfulness is a year-long essential. That’s the DataScreening challenge – to make expressing your gratitude to colleagues and clients a lifestyle,Continue Reading

6 Solutions for Great Property Management.

As a property management company, your focus is not just on providing what tenants will sign leases for, but also for doing so in a way that continues the best profitability because of best management practices. These 6 items will help you keep an eye toward this goal. Draft and execute accurate property management agreementsContinue Reading

Discrimination in Employee Screening?

Would you be shocked to learn discrimination is sometimes allowed in employee screening? Anyone who regularly hires others would be familiar with Title VII or the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which has led to the statement on many applications that “prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” Similarly, the AgeContinue Reading