Finding housing for felons in New Mexico is no easy task and we want to assure you that we understand your struggle. Every month we have dozens of people ask our organization for this information and as much as we wish we had a list of felon friendly apartments in New Mexico, this information is too difficult to gather as we don't have enough staff on hand to handle the task.
With that being said, we've done the next best thing. Below is a list of organizations and resources in New Mexico that will help you in your pursuit of felon friendly housing.
Felon Friendly Apartments in New Mexico
You are ready to meet the challenges of society again. If you have just been released from prison, it is important to refer to the reentry listings for New Mexico that we have compiled here on the Jobs for Felons Hub website. The referenced listings make it possible for felons to search for jobs and rentals so they can make an easier transition into the mainstream in New Mexico and settle into a permanent residence.
Some of the programs that are listed on our site also include substance abuse assistance and counseling. When you look at the reentry listings for New Mexico, you can get a better idea of what is entailed if you are looking for transitional housing as well as a permanent residence.
How to Make Plans for Reentry in New Mexico
Reentry in New Mexico can be made simpler by compiling an activity list of what is needed in order to make your housing or a job search more streamlined. Compile the following checklist to assist you in your quest.
· Obtain transitional housing
· Contact HUD, if applicable, about a permanent rental apartment
· Receive job training to enhance my employment skills
· Contact the appropriate agency about getting food stamps (One-Stop Center)
· Visit local thrift store to buy professional clothes
· Schedule an appointment with substance abuse counselor
A Transitional Housing Resource in New Mexico
If you are seeking temporary housing that places an emphasis on substance abuse counseling, then you can find residences of this type by visiting TransitionalHousing.org. The site features 5,500+ transitional type residences. Felons can sign up for stays from two weeks to as long as two years.
Other New Mexico Housing Search Resources
Besides referring to the reentry listings on our site, you can also obtain rental information through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for New Mexico, also regularly referred to as HUD. Local housing authorities and HUD work in coordination to assist felons and others locate subsidized housing. HUD rentals offer felons a way to afford an apartment by offering a discount voucher to reduce the rental amount.
The rental rate is based on a felon’s income or means of support and how it compares to a location’s annual median income or AMI. If you have just been released from prison then, contact your local housing authority or HUD at your earliest convenience. If they cannot get you into a move-in ready apartment, you will have to sign up on a waiting list.
If you have been convicted of a sex offense or for making and trafficking methamphetamine, you will have to look elsewhere for help. Refer to the reentry listings on this site and contact the reentry program through the Department of Corrections for New Mexico.
Don’t Apply at Large Apartment Communities
To avoid wasting your time, do not look for a rental at a large apartment complex as they always check references and criminal histories. Instead, concentrate on obtaining temporary housing while you look.
Check Out Your Criminal Background
Before your apartment search starts, perform a criminal history check on yourself. Use the information as a support tool to negotiate leases and as background information for obtaining transitional housing. It only takes a couple minutes to go online and obtain the data and the cost is minimal. You can initiate a check now by following this link.
Why Felons Are Frequently Denied Housing
Unfortunately, in the US, felons can regularly be turned down for rental housing as there is no law in New Mexico or in the US that forbids the practice. Landlords are not restricted from denying rental applications if they feel the applicant may pose a threat to their community.
For the practice to be illegal, it must extend to a federally protected class. Federally protected classes include applicants whose rental refusal is based on their national origin, religion, sex, ethnicity, race, disability or family status. In some locations, the class may also include gender or age.
Property managers can also turn down an applicant if their credit is poor or they have a history of evictions or non-payment of rent.
Discrimination only becomes a legal problem when the property owner denies a rental based on an applicant’s ethnicity, race, sex, disability, national origin, family status or religion. However, you may be able to rent an apartment in New Mexico if your felony was for substance abuse and that abuse was based on a disability. As a disability is considered a protected class, you cannot be denied housing in this type of circumstance.
Otherwise, you generally will be turned down in New Mexico or anywhere in the US, especially if you apply to a large apartment complex. Unless your felony is well over 10 years old and was of a non-violent nature, you will find applying for housing can be frustrating. To reduce the chance that this will occur, focus on reviewing the listings on Craigslist or contact your local HUD office of local housing authority. You can read more about illegal housing discrimination by visiting NOLO online.
Housing and the Law in New Mexico and the US
Basically, any illegal housing discrimination extends to a bias toward an applicant’s ethnicity, national origin, religion, race, disability, ethnicity sex, or family status. Unless your felony charge extends to one of these listed and protected classes, you will usually be denied housing in a bigger apartment community.
Arbitrary Discrimination As It Applies to the Housing Market
The US Fair Housing Act allows property managers to deny rental applications as long as the discrimination is considered legal. As long as the decision is not based on prejudice, the property manager can turn down an application. That means the rental manager can deny an application based on an applicant’s history of non-payment or evictions, or their credit score. He or she can also turn down felons as long as the felony is not based on a charge that stemmed from a protected classification. You can read more about arbitrary discrimination by following this link.
New Mexico Housing Authority
In New Mexico, you can access public housing agencies or local housing authorities to assist you in your search for a rental apartment. Both work in collaboration with HUD in New Mexico to help felons and other applicants secure rentals that are affordable places to live. Again, it is important to contact a HUD affiliated office or HUD once you are released from prison in order to secure permanent housing. If a move-in apartment is not available, you will need to sign up on a waiting list.
Once more, if your felony is associated with the manufacture and sale of methamphetamine or you have been convicted of a sex offense, you will need to contact your reentry program through the Department of Corrections or a similar agency as HUD will not work with felons that are charged with the above felonies.
New Mexico Apartment Listings on Craigslist
As stated, Craigslist is another good resource for a housing search. Many of the advertisers on the site are real estate investors or small property management companies. Therefore, they will work with a broader range of rental applicants. To review New Mexico’s listings, begin your search by clicking on this link. Once you click on the link, click on the town or city where you want to live. Then, click on the “housing” section at the top of the page. Add your rental range to narrow your selections.
Reentry Programs in New Mexico
Begin you housing and job search by reviewing and contacting the reentry listings for New Mexico. Refer to the information often so you can find transitional housing as well as job training – all which will lead you to employment and a permanent residence.
The New Mexico Religious Community
You can also find job and housing leads by inquiring at faith-based agencies or area churches. If you are a member of a local church, ask you minister if he or she knows of any employment or rental leads. You can also gain leads through volunteering at community-based organizations.
Referrals From Friends and Family
Use friends and family as a support base too. Just don’t ask relatives or friends to sign a lease on your behalf. Your name needs to be on the lease to avoid any problems with eviction.
Additional Felon Housing Search Tips
Maintain a Professional Appearance
In order to succeed in any job or housing search, you have to look the part – that means dressing professionally. Drop in at your local thrift store and buy some professional-looking attire.
Establish Good Communications
Show that you are serious about getting a permanent residence by asking pertinent questions. Keep the rapport professional to establish good communications.
Reference the Reentry Listings
Always refer to the reentry listings for New Mexico that are featured on our site. They can help you greatly while you re-integrate into the mainstream.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Prevent from getting discouraged by staying focused and positive. Maintain a daily routine to stay on track and help you meet your goals.