Once released from prison it can be difficult for anyone to find suitable housing. For those who do not have friends or family, where can you go?
You may be having trouble finding a job that provides a livable wage. Living with a felony does not make it easy to sign a lease and get a place to live.
Getting a driver’s license to go to and from work can affect the amount of money that you make each payday. It may seem that you will always struggle.
Even if you could get a house or apartment, you will still have to have a job and a car to get to work. Paying your rent may seem impossible to you.
What Options Do You Have?
When looking for a place to rent your felony conviction can be a reason for denial in some cases. Even if you have the financial resources available to you, putting a roof over your head can be a problem.
HUD is for people who are suffering from poverty and need help with a place to live. Housing for Urban Development is a program offering low-income people affordable housing. The cost of housing depends on your income.
Places that accepts HUD also house some of the most vulnerable people in the US. Often women and children, these types of people are the reason HUD is so strict on its applicants.
HUD will be a monitored living situation. You will have to obey the rules and regulations to keep your lease.
Once through the application process, it can take several years before you get the keys to your home. Due to high demand for affordable housing, it can take a long time for a place to open up for you.
In some cases, you can move in within weeks, in other cases, it may be up to six years. This depends on housing availability and if there is a wait time due to your conviction.
What is HUD?
There are three different types of help through the HUD program:
- Housing Choice Voucher – This means that you find a place to live and the government will help you to pay the rent
- Public Housing – This is where the government provides the housing.
- Privately Owned/Subsidized Housing – Landlords get money for renting to HUD applicants.
To be eligible for these, you must be elderly, disabled, or low income. The application for help will have qualifications you have to meet to get assistance. You must also be a citizen of the United States or someone who qualifies as a citizen.
Your local Public Housing Agency will help you to apply.
Are You Eligible for Hud?
Each state has regulations for help through HUD. You can check with your local housing authority to see what your options are where you live.
In some cases, there is a waiting period of your felony conviction that ranges from 5-10 years. This is a timeframe of good behavior to prove that you are no longer committing criminal acts.
Applying for this type of housing, you will have to undergo a background check. Any criminal convictions you have will show up here so be sure to be truthful.
What if your family member lives in a HUD home? It can put you and them at risk if you aren’t supposed to be there. Violating the terms of HUD can result in being permanent disqualification and eviction.
Being eligible for HUD means proving that you are a responsible individual. It also means that you will not put your neighbors at risk or even be a negative influence on them.
Applying for HUD
When you apply for HUD you must submit information such as your current living situation. You may also need to submit your birth certificate and tax returns. The housing authority will want to talk to previous landlords to make sure that you’re a good tenant.
HUD determination depends on circumstances at the time. This means that someone with greater need may get the home sooner than someone else.
The amount of rent you pay will depend on how much money you make. You may have to submit your bank statements to determine your rent.
Keeping your HUD home means that you stay out of trouble and pay your rent on time. Going to work and making money will play a role here.
Assuming that you didn’t lie on your application and you don’t get arrested, you will get to keep your assistance.
Landlords and HUD
The government has guidelines that a landlord must follow before denying someone housing. In the past, landlords did not have to rent to people with felonies.
New guidelines dictate that landlords rent to people with convictions. This excludes only those who meet the criteria that put neighbors and other tenants at risk. If you have a drug conviction or you are a lifetime registered sex offender, they may not rent to you.
Time will be on your side when applying. If you have not committed a crime in a long time and you’ve been through rehab your chances are pretty good.
Having a lifetime sex offender status can disqualify you from living with HUD help. Some states are updating their registry status. If you are someone who has to change to lifetime status due to these laws changing, this should not affect you.
Alternative Housing for Felons
People are beginning to understand that when you’re released from prison you need help to keep from going back. Often, convicts have no choice but to be homeless or back to a criminal lifestyle.
Hope is not lost if you cannot get help with housing through HUD due to your criminal activity. There are often opportunities through grants that you can receive.
Check around your area for organizations that help felons come back to society.
A felon is eligible for HUD housing. People who are elderly or disabled often use this type of help to provide a home. It’s also a great help for anyone who struggles with money.
Due to new laws, landlords cannot disqualify a person for HUD because they got in trouble. Sex offenders registered for life and those who manufactured drugs may not qualify.
Once you receive HUD, you must stay out of trouble. A simple arrest can be grounds for eviction.
Applying for HUD goes beyond a background check. You will have to submit financial documentation proving that you need help.
You will have to submit your rent history and even past relationships with neighbors.
HUD qualifications vary depending on where you live. Finding yourself ineligible for help may be tough at first. Luckily there are places designed to helping felons find housing options.