Houston is the latest big city to consider restricting the living options of sex offenders. The Houston Chronicle says officials are crafting an ordinance that would bar offenders from living near places where young people commonly gather and make it a crime for anyone in such areas to rent to sex offenders. The new measure, which also would restrict some parolees or sex offenders from living together, is designed to protect the public from clusters of sex offenders or parolees, said Andy Kahan of Mayor Bill White’s Crime Victims Office. “Essentially, what you have is an unlicensed, unsanctioned halfway house,” he said. “From my own personal perspective, it’s just not conducive for public safety.”
The city is researching a provision that would set limits on the numbers of sex offenders allowed to live in apartment complexes. That drew objections from a trade association, which complained that the measure might place too high a burden on employees untrained in law enforcement.