Survival becomes difficult and troublesome for someone who has been convicted for any form of a felony. Your social life is ruined once the authorities accuse you of a felony and put you behind bars.
Most people get skeptical when it comes to trusting an ex-felon. That’s why felons don’t stand a chance to work or live like normal people.
Once a felon is released from prison, his opportunities of getting good jobs or pursuing a good career get limited. Such a felon feels the existence of a social boundary around him that separates him from normal people.
Naturally, such a thing can destroy and demolish the mental well-being of a human being, and the same happens to a felon.
The governments however of different countries are taking necessary steps to improve the lifestyles of ex-prisoners and felons.
From providing job opportunities to ensuring permanent shelters, almost every country across the globe is progressive with these things. Reformed felons are receiving good opportunities in recent times to live lives like normal citizens.
Most first-world countries arrange public housing facilities for ex-felons to ensure safe shelters for them. This is a promising step for the welfare of the criminals and felons who are keen on returning to the normal flow of life.
Especially, the Public Housing Program model that is initiated by the US government is a great supportive measure for ex-felons.
Anyway, not all felons are eligible to get subsidized rental apartments under the scheme. There are some limitations, and the rest of the article discusses those limitations. Before a felon knows the eligibility factors to get an apartment under the Public Housing Program, he needs to know what the program is.
What Is The Public Housing Program For?
If you look at the statistics, the current number of ex-felons across different states of the US is around six million. The number keeps increasing with the increasing crime rate around the whole country.
Now the question is where these ex-felons will stay after completing their imprisonment durations. The chances for ex-felons to get permanent residences are pretty low.
Most property-owners refrain from giving their properties to ex-felons in rent. While some owners do so, they charge too high amounts that are not affordable for most ex-felons. As mentioned before, felons don’t stand chances to earn higher amounts every month as their job opportunities become limited due to their criminal records.
The Public Housing Program is a great initiative of the department of housing and urban development (HUD) of the US government to offer easy and accessible residential solutions to citizens. The main objective of this particular initiative is to assist middle-class people in affording rental apartments in different locations.
The program is officially registered as the Section 8 Public Housing Program and is monitored by HUD. A large part of the US population is under the poverty line, and they can’t afford rental apartments or houses for residential purposes.
This program enables such families to avail of an impressive subsidy of around 60-70% on the rental charges in terms of renting apartments or houses from owners. All the 50 states of the US and almost every city of each state are covered under this program of the US government.
This initiative is a significant helping hand for families with low incomes as well as for felons. As felons remain deprived of most social facilities and government facilities, the Section 8 Public Housing Program can help them a lot.
Different authorized public housing agencies hold the ownership of public housing properties. These agencies are generally registered with the HUD. The department of housing and urban development of the US government has undertaken these agencies and authorities.
These organizations get regular funds from the HUD as well. Around 3300 public housing agencies are registered under the supervision of the HUD across the whole country.
What Is The Rent Structure Of The Public Housing Program?
Monthly rent is calculated by three different methods under the Public Housing Program scheme. The monthly rental payment of a tenant is regarded as the Total Tenant Payment. Every family under the scheme has the right to choose the preferred method of payment calculation at their convenience.
1 A family registered under the Public Housing Program can pay 10% of the total gross income of all family members as monthly rent.
2 Otherwise, a family also has the option of paying around 30% of the sum of the adjusted earnings of the family members. Adjusted earning refers to the residual amount of earing after excluding the deductions and expenses here.
3 If the methods mentioned above are not convenient for you, you can also pay a certain amount decided by your housing authority as monthly rent. In this method, the amounts of monthly rentals differ in the case of different housing authorities. The amount can be anything between zero to fifty dollars a month.
The monthly rental structure of a public housing program states it all about the efficiency of the scheme. The major subsidies on monthly rents help a lot of people with limited earnings (including felons) to get houses.
What Are The Basic Requirements That A Citizen Needs To Fulfill To Avail Of Section 8?
Applying for the Section 8 scheme is an easy and effortless procedure regardless of where you are and where you’re looking for a rental house in. There are however some basic requirements that every applicant has to observe to get the benefits of the scheme.
These requirements are the same for felons and common citizens.
1 An individual under 18 is not considered as a valid application of the Section 8 scheme.
2 Every applicant of this scheme has to be a US citizen. In case if you’re a US citizen, you must have valid immigration eligibility.
3 Single individuals and families will get similar priorities in terms of applying for the scheme.
What Are The Chances Of Getting Apartments In Public Housing Colonies For Felons?
As the rental apartments under the Public Housing Program are cheaper and more affordable, most felons try to get such apartments for rent.
There are however some strict restrictions that the government has set to determine whether an ex-felon is eligible for getting a public house or not.
A huge number of public housing applications from felons are rejected as the applicants don’t meet the eligibility factors. Though millions of felons get chances to avail themselves of the benefits of Section 8, thousands of felon applicants also fail to meet the eligibility criteria. The HUD authority is pretty strict in terms of regulating the services of the scheme.
How Can A Felon Apply For Public Housing?
The procedure of applying for public housing for a felon is the same as a common citizen. The facilities of the Public Housing Program are available in all locations and cities of the US. So, a felon can find a public housing authority nearby your location too.
If you’re an ex-felon, you are supposed to visit the public housing authority near your location to apply for a public housing apartment.
You should remember that every authority accepts applications throughout specific time durations every year. Once the dedicated period for applying gets over, a felon needs to wait for the next session.
The next important part of the applying procedure is documentation. Alike common citizens, felons also need to provide valid documents for getting subsidized public housing rentals. Every public housing authority asks for a pile of documents from an applicant, and such an organization strictly screens the application of a felon or convicted applicant.
The following points are going to highlight the required documents for applying for a public housing rental.
- It is mandatory for every applicant to provide identity proof that confirms the nationality of the person. The birth certificate of an individual is a major supportive document that a public housing authority asks for. Providing Social Security Number is mandatory for US citizens in terms of getting their application granted.
- When it comes to financial perspectives, the HUD wants to judge the financial condition and stability of each applicant before granting his application. To make that possible, the organization has made it mandatory to submit tax forms, bank statements along with the application. The organization also looks into the recent credit score of the applicant to determine his eligibility for getting a public housing rental.
- Besides the documents mentioned above, the HUD also requires proof of the current residence of an applicant. Also, an applicant needs to provide a complete list of the places where he had lived in the previous five years.
These are all the major documents that are necessary during the submission of an application for public housing. Your application is rejected straightaway if you fail to submit any of the documents mentioned with your application.
You can however complete the application procedure in both online and offline mode. As soon as you submit your application and provide all valid and relevant documents, the HUD starts processing your application.
Another thing that is critical in this case is the criminal record. The HUD has strict guidelines in terms of considering ex-felons or offenders to avail of public housing apartments. The organization conducts in-depth background checks to verify the criminal records of every applicant before processing his application.
Ex-felons and convicted offenders receive public housing apartments based on some terms and conditions by the US government. The HUD takes every felon’s application into account and investigates the criminal record of the concerned applicant. The officials of the organization grant or reject a criminal’s application after verifying and investigating his records.
Convince The Authorities
The simple and straightforward way to convince the authority is to be truthful while applying. You will create an unfavorable impression of yourself if you try to hide your offense. While submitting your application, you need to disclose the exact details of the crime that you had committed.
The majority of ex-felons refrain from disclosing the truths about themselves while applying. And such activities lead their applications to clear rejections. After you complete the application procedure, you will have to go through a personal interview process with the public housing authority.
Most authorities attempt to analyze the nature of each applicant as a tenant. According to the guidelines of the HUD, every authority should conduct detailed investigations to judge the nature of applicants. This is essential to ensure problem-free rental experiences for other tenants. Some authorities contact the ex-landlords of applicants to get information about their natures as tenants.
So, if you had bitter experiences with your ex-landlord, it’s better to reveal that during a personal interview. Also, let the authority know the specific reasons why you had clashes with your ex-landlord.
Who Are Not Likely To Get Public Housing Rentals?
Some certain criminals are in no way eligible for applying to get public housing rentals. Certain crimes get no considerations in terms of availing of the Public Housing Program.
- If you’re accused of sexual offenses, or you’re convicted for physical harassment, you stand no chance to get a house under the subsidized rental program.
- Felons who got arrested due to producing methamphetamine in government-monitored housing are also not eligible for applying for this scheme.
Even if any of your family members has been an ex-felon, your family won’t be eligible for applying for the scheme.
Housing Rules & Regulations
Besides the conditions mentioned above, several other conditions hold applicants from getting subsidized public housing rentals.
Let’s have a glance at those certain conditions-
- A felon cannot apply for the scheme unless he has passed a minimum of five years after committing a crime. According to the rule of the US government, a criminal is not eligible for staying in a regular community before passing through a span of five years. This rule however does not apply to felons who go through rehabilitation programs. In such cases, those applicants need to show valid rehabilitation certificates while submitting applications.
- An individual with charges of drug or alcohol abuse cannot get public housing rentals. The officials of the HUD reject the application of such individuals and their families at the initial stages.
- A public housing authority won’t proceed with your application if you have been involved in public or domestic violence cases. Apart from that, if you or your family members have records of having violent and abusive fights with neighbors, you can’t apply for the scheme.
- Most authorities check out the records of the payment consistency of applicants. If the authority finds anything suspicious in your payment consistency in the case of your previous rental, they won’t grant your application.
- If certain family members deal with drugs, trafficking, or other fraudulent activities, the felon won’t get residential assistance from the government.
These are the standard rules and regulations that are almost the same in every state of the US. Some states however have additional piles of regulations in addition to these. A felon applicant needs to fulfill all the regulations of his nearby housing authority before applying.
If you’re an ex-felon, you should contact your local housing authority to get more information about the eligibility criteria.
Who Will Get Additional Priorities For The Scheme?
Though the Public Housing Program treats most felons the same way, some conditions increase the eligibility of some candidates. A lot of felon candidates receive public housing rentals every year and return to their normal social lives. The HUD however receives millions of applications.
The organization then screens every application. Naturally, the competition is hard as there are merely 3300 public housing authorities across the whole US. Some felon applicants have to wait for years to avail themselves of the services of this scheme. The following conditions make applicants more eligible than other felon applicants-
The ex-felons who don’t have specific residential addresses are the prior ones to get houses under this scheme. Most house-owners keep way their houses from ex-felons due to their past criminal records.
That’s why millions of felons stay in streets or parks. The main aim of the scheme is to offer support to those homeless felons. That’s why the Public Housing Program gives priority to such applicants.
- Felon applicants with serious medical conditions also get public housing rentals in an easier way than other felons. If a diagnosis reveals that one of his family members has a critical disease, the applicant gets the same facility. The HDU mentions medical emergencies as a priority.
- Ex-felons need to bear more expenses when it comes to renting apartments or houses. The majority of landlords charge extra amounts from ex-felons as rents. As offenders and ex-felons don’t get earning opportunities like normal people, bearing extending rents becomes harder for them. That’s why most public housing authorities give priority to the felon applicants who are currently paying half of their earnings as rents. If you’re an ex-felon who has to pay more than half of your monthly income as rent, you’ll get extra advantage from the local housing authority during selection.
- The HUD is cordial to the felon applicants who are undergoing domestic violence. Thousands of ex-felons suffer due to domestic violence, and they look for better residences to live peacefully. An ex-offender however has to show valid proof that he is undergoing domestic violence to get priority from the local authority. If you have proper evidence that you’re undergoing domestic violence regularly, you will get prior advantages.
- In some cases, the authorities convict people without any offense. The number of such cases is increasing rapidly with time. The public housing authorities offer priorities to such candidates.
- Most ex-felons reported that the authorities condemned their residences after returning from imprisonment. In such cases, those felons get the best-in-class assistance from the local authorities in terms of getting new apartments to stay.
If you have any of these conditions mentioned above, you are eligible to get prior advantages from your local public housing authority.
Can Felons With No Earning Get Apartments Under The Scheme?
A felon finds it difficult to get a good job after coming back from jail, and sometimes, he has no source of income. In such a case, he can’t afford to feed himself or find a shelter to stay. The US government designed the Public Housing Program specifically for distressed ex-felons and other people below the poverty line.
With no monthly income, you still can be eligible to get the benefits of the scheme. You have to however ensure that there is no police case open and there is no conviction against you. If your present records are clean, you’ve completed five years after your crime, and you have no monthly income, you can apply for a house under the scheme.
Let the authority know about your condition, and the officials will suggest the best ways to deal with your condition.
The scheme is a friendly and fair option for all those ex-felons who have reformed mentally. Having a history of a felony doesn’t mean that your life will not shine anymore. The efficient program of the US government shows the light of hope to millions of ex-offenders every year who want to get back to normal life.
Ex-offenders and ex-felons also have the human rights to live happily in the world, and this project of the US government makes that possible. Besides supporting felons, the project is a great helping hand for the families of the felons who are homeless due to the crime of their family members. If you’re a felon who wants to forget your past and start a new life, this scheme is the best option for you.
Making a fresh start may seem difficult however it is not possible. Being eligible for housing is one of the biggest steps towards a new life. Felons were not given this opportunity in the past and that is what makes it unique. It is time to take responsibility for your actions and move forward with your family.
Apply for a rental house under the government scheme to start your new journey towards a better and honest tomorrow.