Finding housing for felons in Colorado 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 Colorado, 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 Colorado that will help you in your pursuit of felon friendly housing.
Felon Friendly Apartments in Colorado
If you are seeking housing in Colorado, then it is best not to start with larger apartment complexes. You will only get discouraged as these communities regularly check the backgrounds of their tenants. Although seeking housing can become a tedious process, it is still possible to re-enter society and find a place to call home. You just need to stay positive and know where to begin your search.
Perform a Background Check
Before you start your search, however, it is a good idea to perform a bac ground check on yourself. You can get the information you require simply by following this link. The company charges a small fee for the service.
Where to Go For Help
With those details in hand then, you can use the information to contact various re-entry programs. The data can also be used at your local housing authority. The HUD (Housing of Urban Development) can help you, especially if you were not convicted of a crime that did not include the selling or trafficking of drugs.
Other sources to add to your search include religious leaders, attorneys or social counselors in your community. Craigslist is another source where you can find housing too. Any of these venues will make the search for housing more palatable. It’s important to focus on the programs and rentals that are more inclined to be felon-friendly.
It is Not Against the Law for Landlords to Turn Down Felons
If you are searching for housing in Colorado or any state, the process is not always easy, especially if you are not prepared or do not know what to expect. You also have to be cognizant of your civil rights in this regard. That is because landlords can turn down felons – it is not against the law. Unfortunately, the legal system has not instituted any laws that make rejecting a felon’s housing application illegal.
According to NOLO online, only specific kinds of discrimination are considered illegal. Any activity that is discriminatory must be associated with one’s race, family status, religion, disability, or ethnicity. Some states, according to the site, also include sexual orientation and gender to the list. If you have a criminal history, then a landlord can say no to you because of your record. Unless, you were charged for illegal drug use that resulted from a mental “disability,” you can be turned down.
Therefore, a landlord can still deny your rental application in Colorado or anywhere in the US if you made and distributed illegal drugs. Any criminal history that effects a landlord’s community is up for scrutiny. As a result, you can be denied housing for a past crime.
Nevertheless, even with those legal stipulations, a landlord still needs to tread carefully as he or she can still be found guilty of arbitrary discrimination. For discrimination to be considered “legal” every felon applicant must be treated the same. For instance, if a landlord turns down the application of a felon who is Hispanic but offers the same apartment to a felon who is Caucasian, he can be sued and held liable for discrimination. That is because, he did not turn down the applicant for being a felon but, seemingly, because of his ethnicity.
Therefore, all felons must be treated alike when they are considered for housing. In Colorado as well as other states, rejecting a felon’s housing application is not deemed illegal as long as the landlord does not base his decision on the felon’s race, religion, family background, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. You can read further supporting information about arbitrary discrimination as well as “legal” forms of discrimination by clicking on this link.
If you are currently seeking rental housing in Colorado then, try to focus on seeking housing that is single-occupancy or which is located in a small apartment community. Again, large apartment communities run background checks and do not rent to felons. In some rare instances, you may be able to find an apartment to rent in this kind of community if your crime dates back past 10 years and was non-violent in nature.
Start your search by going to the area housing authority, looking on Craigslist and reviewing the re-entry programs in the state. The Focus Reentry program in Boulder, Colorado is a good place to begin.
Colorado Housing Authority
In Colorado, the Colorado Housing Authority operates under the Housing of Urban Development or HUD. HUD in Colorado features housing and apartments that are affordable for felons as well as others whose salary falls below the median range of income for a community. If you cannot obtain a rental that is move-in ready, you will need to sign up for a rental on a waiting list. Therefore, once you are released from your sentence, you need to make an appointment with your local housing authority ASAP.
The HUD in Colorado determines your rent by how much you make annually. Therefore, the idea behind using a housing authority is to ensure you obtain a rental you can afford. Most of the HUD offices in the US maintain a listing of both apartments and homes for people who cannot meet an area’s income requirements. The agency establishes salary limits for cities and towns as well. HUD, basically then, is a go-between for the landlord and applicant.
Colorado Apartment Listings on Craigslist
Once more, Craigslist is a good resource for rental housing. Landlords who advertise on the site are less strict than major apartment companies. Some of the advertisers don’t even perform a background check. Even if the landlord does check a tenant’s background, he or she is easier to approach than a large rental firm.
To look at the rentals featured on Craigslist, select the link for the state of Colorado and then the preferred town or city. Include the rental range you are seeking. Start the process by clicking on this link.
Reentry Programs in Colorado
Reentry programs abound in Colorado that a permit a felon to make the adjustment to working in society. If you would like to know more about programs in your state, you can do so by reviewing the listings that were compiled by the Jobs for Felons Hub for Colorado. All you need to do is click on the following link. The URL will directly lead you to the programs featured in your state.
The Colorado Religious Community
Besides re-entry programs, felons can also receive housing or job information from faith-based organizations or churches in Colorado. If you belong to a local church, ask for their help in obtaining a job or housing.
Referrals From Friends and Family
Housing referrals can also be obtained through friends and family. You can always ask for a family member or friend to vouch for you when trying to apply for housing. However, don’t ask a friend or loved one to sign a lease for you as you can get evicted from your apartment or house. Always make sure your name is included on the lease.
Additional Felon Housing Search Tips
Stay Focused on Your Goal
It is not easy to search for housing when you have a felony record. However, the search can also open new doors for you. Not only will you become a better negotiator, you will learn where it is easier to obtain a rental home. The key is to remain positive and to present yourself professionally during your housing search.
That means dressing professionally and establishing a good rapport with your potential landlord. Establishing credibility in this way can lead to a future that is both bright and promising. While conducting a search, make sure the rental representative is receptive to your situation. Don’t waste your time and energy on searches that won’t reap good results. Try to look at housing choices that are more felon-friendly.
Keep Moving Forward
Stay truthful and avoid getting on the defensive. Everybody makes mistakes. You don’t have to be nervous about being honest about your past. Just keep moving forward. Don’t let your history throw you a curve ball in this respect.