Finding housing for felons in Indiana 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 Indiana, 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 Indiana that will help you in your pursuit of felon friendly housing.
Felon Friendly Apartments in Indiana
Getting used to living in the mainstream is made easier when you know where to look for housing and a job. Fortunately, the Jobs for Felons Hub website has gathered data and listings for reentry programs in Indiana that will make the search less strenuous. Reentry programs help felons get acclimated to society with career guidance and housing alternatives.
Other Housing Search Options
In order to ensure success in your housing search, you also want to look at Craigslist for apartment and house rentals in the Hoosier state. In addition, try to schedule, as soon as you are released, an appointment with the local housing authority. Sometimes it is necessary to include your name on a waiting list in order to obtain a rental. Therefore, scheduling an appointment with the local housing authority must be done without delay.
Talk to the DOC
The Indiana Department of Corrections also features reentry services that makes transitioning into society easier for felons. Make sure you look at all the avenues available to you as a felon to obtain a job and affordable housing. By reviewing the reentry listings for Indiana and using the other aforementioned resources, you will make your search for a house or an apartment a more positive one.
How to Reduce Any Frustration
What you want to avoid is applying to a big apartment community. Big apartment complexes are also run by big management companies – companies that always run a background check. If you want to reduce any frustration, looking in a large multiplex community is not advised by house search experts.
Felon-friendly Housing Options
In Indiana, felons should search for apartments or houses in smaller complexes or neighborhoods. Ideally, you want to find a duplex or an apartment or house that stands alone. It is also helpful to sign up with transitional housing programs. Seeking to live in a large complex is not advised, especially when you have just been released from a correctional facility. Again, such complexes always run criminal background checks and will quickly turn you down should you apply.
Therefore, try to maintain a search that features houses and apartments that are smaller and not owned by a large property management company. Again, review the reentry programs in Indiana. The programs are designed for specific felon applicants and will give you more leeway in terms of transition.
Conduct a Background Check
It is always helpful to conduct a background check on yourself as you want to see what a property manager will read about your history. Begin the process by following this link. It will only take a few minutes of your time and cost you a minimal fee. This data is needed if you want to have a fairer chance when negotiating a lease.
Defining Discrimination that is Legal
In Indiana and other states, legal discrimination is defined as assessing data that is needed, normally, for a business or job transactions. For example, loan officers regularly discriminate against applicants when they check their credit scores. Landlords, as well, discriminate legally, when they look at an applicant’s past evictions or non-payment of rent. If a business person’s discrimination is done in order to make a business or rental decision and is based on factual data, then it is considered, in the eyes of the court, to be legal.
Therefore, discrimination is not necessarily bad. In Indiana and other states, discrimination is permitted as long as the activity is based upon fact and not on the discriminator’s bias or prejudice. If you are a felon who is denied housing then, it frequently is based on your criminal history. As a result, property owners have it in their right to turn down a housing or apartment application from a felon who they consider to be a potential threat to their complex. If your felony is related to a violent crime or to the manufacture of illegal substances, you can be automatically rejected for a rental.
In the US, the Fair Housing Act says illegal discrimination is discrimination that is based on one of several protection classifications. These classes include national origin, race, religion, ethnicity, sex, family status or mental or physical disability. If your housing application is denied for any of the foregoing reasons, it is considered against the law and therefore can be challenged in a court. You can read more about discrimination that is considered illegal by clicking on NOLO online.
With that being the case, an Indiana property owner or any place else in the country still needs to be careful about discriminating arbitrarily. For instance, if a felon tries to rent an apartment but served time for the abuse of drugs, then rejecting his or her application may be challenged. If the drug use resulted from a mental disability, then denying housing would extend to a protected classification and the landlord could be sued for his or her decision.
In basic terms, arbitrary discrimination is discrimination that is based more on prejudice than it is on factual data or statistics. Therefore, discrimination is only legal when it regards members of a group similarly. Unless the discrimination is based on a housing applicant’s national origin, sex, ethnicity, race, family status, disability or religion, a felon’s housing or rental application can be legally turned down. You can obtain a better understanding of arbitrary discrimination by accessing and following this link.
Indiana Housing Authority
In Indiana, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority works in conjunction with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD to ensure that felons can obtain a way to obtain affordable rental housing. Local housing authorities make it possible for felons to move into apartments that are subsidized. If they cannot provide you with an apartment that is move-in ready, you may have to add your name to a waiting list. Therefore, make it a priority to contact the IHCDA or HUD immediately after leaving prison.
Housing authorities are designed to support felons and other low-income people by directing them to apply for affordable and habitable housing. If your income or means of support falls well below the annual median income or AMI for your neighborhood, then you are entitled to obtain a discount for a rental unit. In some instances, some felons may obtain housing for free, depending, again, on how their income compares with the AMI for an area.
Indiana Apartment Listings on Craigslist
Besides the local housing authority, review the house and apartment postings on Craigslist in Indiana. These postings often feature rental properties that are simpler to rent. That’s because many of the advertisers are not large property management companies but are smaller real estate investors. As a result, their rental requirements are not as limiting.
A felon looking for an apartment on Craigslist then will often find the advertisers to be more amenable. To begin a Craigslist search for Indiana, begin by following this link. Select your preferred city or town of residence, then click on the house and apartment tab before including the salary range.
Reentry Programs in Indiana
Reviewing the reentry programs that are available for felons transitioning into society is a very helpful resource. The Jobs for Felons Hub website provides listings of the following reentry programs in Indiana to make any changes easier.
The Indiana Religious Community
One way to make your transition more positive is to join a local community church. Ask the pastor of the church if he or she knows about faith-based programs or initiatives that can help you educationally, career-wise or in your search for an apartment or a house. Volunteering can also help you in finding resources that will lead to housing and employment.
Referrals From Friends and Family
You can also gain information about housing and rentals from family and friends. They either may know a property owner or can be used as a reference when you apply for a rental. Just make sure you don’t ask a close friend or sibling, for instance, to lease an apartment or house on your behalf. You name should be included on the lease.
Otherwise, you could get sued or evicted from your new home. That is the last thing you want to happen if you are committed to living in a community. Always add your name to the rental agreement even if you are not the sole contributor of the rent.
Additional Felon Housing Search Tips
Convey a Professional Appearance
Whether you go on a job or house search, you need to wear professional clothes and act professionally. Make a trip to a thrift store to find clothes that are tailored or professionally styled. Making a first good impression is necessary if you want to obtain a rental home and build a good relationship with the property owner. If at all possible, make sure you locate close to work to show your dedication to making things work in your community.
Follow a Routine
When you find a rental home in Indiana, it is important to get acclimated to a regular routine. Try to stay at your new residence for at least two years. Show that you are devoted to staying somewhere and not moving. Demonstrate to your employer and/or landlord that you are both reliable and committed to success.