Housing authorities and private management companies use a criminal background check such as CORI as a way to screen applicants.
As a best practice in the housing search process, work with clients to requesting their CORI and assist them in understanding the information on it. Requesting the CORI can help clients prepare for the potential challenges they may encounter when applying for affordable housing.
Use the links below to see important documents and an example of the CORI. The CORI ONLY covers the state of Massachusetts.
A special note on the Advocate Form for CORI Request
When assisting clients to request a copy of their CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information), there is a form that allows advocates, attorneys and other designated people to request a CORI on behalf of (and with the permission of) a client.
By using this form, the client grants permission for the advocate to receive and open a copy of his or her CORI. When making a request that a CORI be mailed to an office address or agency PO Box, using this form will expedite the process by confirming for the CORI Unit that the client has authorized the CORI be delivered somewhere other than his or her home address.
The Advocate form does require the client’s notarized signature.
To request a fee waiver, use this form.
CORI Access– These tables summarize who has access to the different parts of a CORI. The first table displays the different access levels (what will or will not be visible to the requester). The second table displays who falls into each level of access category.
CORI Acknowledgement Form– This is the document used by housing authorities or management companies to get the permission of the applicant to request a copy of their CORI. This is used for employment and housing purposes. Without an applicant signature on this document, it is illegal to request a copy of someone’s CORI.
Example of a CORI– This is an example of what the CORI will look like to the housing provider.
How to Correct your CORI– This is the form that explains the steps to correcting any mistakes on a CORI.
How to Seal your CORI– This is the form to request to seal charges on a CORI. Sealing is when you make charges invisible to the requester. This can only be done in specific situations. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor and have not been arrested or convicted of a crime for 5 or more years, you can have the charge/charges sealed. If you were convicted of a felony, and have not been arrested or convicted of a crime for 10 or more years, the charge/charges can be sealed.