Housing Assistance for Felons – Living a normal life can be a very difficult task for felons. This is also true when they are released and are trying to find a good and proper housing. Many just blatantly refuse once they’ve learned that the person is an ex-felon. This is exactly why the housing assistance program for felons is needed. But the main question would be: is there really such a program?
Housing Assistance for Felons Programs
Housing Assistance from HUD
Available in every state, the office of HUD is responsible to administer and govern housing programs in the cities. This is the first place every felon should visit in order to learn about the available affordable rent houses (or sometimes, when you’re lucky, free housing) for people in need. This program is different from the Section 8 housing.
Please do remember that the affordable or free housing assistance program is meant for a temporary solution, meaning that you would still have to find a proper income and then eventually move out from these subsidized houses in order to give other people who share the same fate as you a chance.
The HUD’s housing program is usually popular, so you might not get the housing on your first attempt. If this is the case, usually the office will put you in their waiting list. This waiting period may last for up to 12 months; therefore, it is wise to go to the housing authorities as soon as you possible.
In order to qualify for a free housing, a person’s income should be far below the poverty line. People whose annual income is below the poverty level will receive a discounted price.
You can also try your luck by visiting craigslist. In order to find a felon friendly apartment, you should stay away from property management companies. Instead, find apartments and housings that are administered by individuals. As you know, property management companies simply ignore people who were involved in a felony, so your best chance to get housing is from small landlords. Many won’t run background check on you, but in case they do you should explain your past and assure them in a good manner. Honesty goes a long way, trust me. You should always tell them upfront that you’re an ex-felon, but if you are 100% sure that they won’t run a background check on you, you can stay silent (but if they ask, answer honestly). Admit that you made a mistake in the past and you are now a changed man.
The downside of this method is that the craigslist is not exactly something you can call housing assistance, although you do have the ability to limit your maximum and minimum rent cost during your search.
Other Options on How to Find Housing Assistance for Felons
If you still find it hard to find yourself a place to stay, you should consult your parole officer. It is a common knowledge that parole officer may have a list of felon-friendly housing. They may also recommend you to enter the reentry programs. Hopefully, these will provide you with some more options.
Alternatively, asking help from a friend can also be a good way to get a cheap and affordable housing. A trusted friend can provide a nice referral.
There are some simple things that may increase your chance in getting an affordable housing. First off, always make a good first impression by dressing up nicely and shake their hand when you meet. Pay attention to their explanation and always be kind and courteous, even when they refuse to rent their house to you because you’re an ex-felon.
In short, there are programs for housing for people with felonies, but you may have to wait for some time. In the meantime, it is advisable to find a cheap rent using our tips above.