Finding housing for felons in Michigan 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 Michigan, 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 Michigan that will help you in your pursuit of felon friendly housing.
Felon Friendly Apartments in Michigan
In order to reenter society and do so successfully, it is important to take advantage of the reentry programs that are available for felons in Michigan. The JobsForFelonsHub.com site has gathered the necessary information on reentry programs in Michigan. Refer to this listing so you can make an easier transition into the mainstream.
According to the Department of Corrections in Michigan (DOC), the vision of the program is to place felons into the community via a Transition Accountability Plan or TAP/Case Plan that allows each felon to follow a course of learning that will prepare him or her for reintegration into society and a successful adjustment into their community. The major goal of the program is to reduce recidivism rates and make the transition from prison into the mainstream more seamless.
That is why it is essential to rely on the reentry listings for Michigan that have been created by the JobsForFelonsHub.com site. This essential listing will assist you find programs and resources that will help you obtain the proper housing and a job. Refer to the listings often so you can stay focused on your reentry into society.
Featured Reentry Partner – Michigan Prisoner Reentry Program
One of the featured reentry partners listed on the reentry listings for Michigan is the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Program. The goal of the program is to ensure that each felon will return to his or her community successfully. State departments work with human service agencies and elected officials to collaborate services so returning felons can reintegrate more easily into society.
The program is structured so a felon can participate in reentry plans while still serving their prison sentence. Prior to release, the felons work with a community treatment team, mental health team and parole agent to prepare for transitioning into the mainstream.
After his or her release, a felon works with members of their support system to receive mental health assistance, sustained employment and a stable residence. That is why it is important to resource the reentry programs that have been compile by the JobsForFelonsHub.com site. When you have this information in tow, you will experience a transition that is more streamlined and successful.
Other Resources for Housing
Besides referencing the reentry listing on the JobsForFelonsHub.com site, you can also find housing options through such venues as the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Michigan and Craigslist. The HUD and local housing authorities work at helping felons find apartments that are not only affordable but will meet their living requirements.
HUD uses an applicant’s AMI or annual median income to determine what properties will meet his or her budgetary needs. You need to apply to a local housing authority or HUD agency immediately after your prison release as you may need to sign up for a waiting list. You will need to add your name to this list if move-in-ready apartments are not currently available. Transitional housing sources can help you find a place to live while you are performing your housing search.
The Department of Health and Human Services in Michigan also provides grants for housing to low-income families, including felons.
Don’t Apply at a Large Michigan Apartment Complex
One mistake you want to avoid while looking for a rental is applying at a large apartment community. Large apartment complexes are run by large management companies that always make it a point to conduct a background check. If you don’t want to get frustrated in your search for a rental, this is not the place to begin. Instead, stick to felon-friendly alternatives, such as reentry listings, HUD-based housing sources, and Craigslist.
Take a Look at Your Criminal History
In order to proceed with a housing search, you need to know what your criminal background says. Therefore, to initiate the process, obtain a criminal history check of yourself. The time it takes is minimal as is the fee. Use the history as a tool to negotiate your lease or explain your situation to a housing agency or potential landlord. You can begin the background check by following this link.
Why A Felon Can Be Legally Turned Down for Housing
It does not matter whether you live in Michigan or anywhere else in the US, you can be turned down for a rental. That is because felons are not a part of a protected class. Therefore, they can be turned down if a potential property owner thinks that their charge could pose a possible threat to their community. Just like a loan officer discriminates against applicants with poor credit scores, property managers are in their right to discriminate against a felon applicant if his or her decision is based on fact.
Property owners in Michigan and elsewhere in the US can also legally discriminate against any applicant who has not paid their rent or has been evicted in the past. When a discriminatory practice is based on business, then it is normally considered legal.
How Illegal Discriminatory Practices Are Circumvented
Discrimination in Michigan and all the other states in the US becomes illegal when a property manager denies a housing application because of prejudice. According the rules of the Fair Housing Act, a landlord cannot refuse the rental application of a potential tenant in connection with their family status, race, sex, ethnicity, disability or national origin.
Therefore, a felon who tries to rent an apartment whose felony charge involved the illegal use of drugs can be leased an apartment as long as the drug use was based on a mental or physical disability. That is because his or her charge is related to one of the protected classes listed under the Fair Housing Act.
Overall, though, if you are a felon, you normally will be turned down for housing unless the charge, again, is connected with a protected class or the charge was non-violent and several decades old. If your felony charge is violent or recent, you almost always will be turned down for a rental in an established community or large apartment complex. The legal platform, NOLO online, describes illegal more in-depth.
Applying the Fair Housing Act to US Felons
Discrimination, basically, is illegal when a property manager bases his or her rental decision on an applicant’s family status, national origin, ethnicity, race, religion, sex or disability. Most felons are turned down for housing then because of their felony record.
Making an Arbitrary Decision to Rent
Again, a property manager is in their right, legally, to reject a felon’s application as long as they deny every other felon that applies housing too. Therefore, in order for a property owner to make the right decision, he or she must base their reasoning on fact versus prejudice. The decision then should be as objective as it is fair.
Rental decisions that are associated with a property manager’s bias or which are based on an applicant’s ethnicity, family status, sex, religion, disability or national origin are illegal under the statutes of the US Fair Housing Administration. Arbitrary discrimination does not always look illegal but it can become that way as well if a property owner does not use care. You can read more about this form of discrimination by accessing and following this link.
Michigan Housing Authority
The Michigan State Development Housing Authority (MSDHA) works in conjunction with HUD in Michigan to provide housing for low-income renters, including felon applicants. They provide subsidized housing that, in some cases, are free to felons. The rent is based on an applicant’s income and how it compares to the annual median income or AMI in an area. In Michigan, HUD agencies or the MSDHA acts as a go-between for participating landlords and tenants.
As stated before, make sure you schedule an appointment with the local housing authority or HUD as soon as you get out of prison as you may have to be placed on a waiting list. The sooner you take this step, the sooner you will be able to obtain a house or an apartment.
However, if you are a sex offender or was charged with and served time for the manufacture of methamphetamine, you will not be able to contact an HUD-associated housing authority or the HUD agency in your community. Instead, you need to reference the reentry resources that have been provided by the JobsForFelonsHubs.com site as well as speak to DOC officials before being released from prison.
Michigan Apartment Listings on Craigslist
Again, Craigslist in Michigan is a viable source for finding a rental house or apartment. Usually, the landlords are not as strict when qualifying rental applicants. Some will not even perform a background check. Even if they follow this process, they are easier to talk to about your housing situation.
To review the Craigslist postings for Michigan, you will need to follow this link first. Next, choose the city or town where you want to reside. Click on “housing” at the top of the page to obtain the rental and house listings. To make your selection easier, include your rental range.
Reentry Programs in Michigan
The best way to start any housing search is to look over the reentry programs in Michigan that are featured on the JobsForFelonsHub.com site. You can obtain transitional housing through some of these programs while you trying to find a permanent residence.
The Michigan Religious Community
You can also find housing by asking your pastor about any leads or contacting faith-based organizations. You might also think about volunteering in your local community. Ask about referrals through the volunteer organization.
Referrals From Friends and Family
Asking for help from family or friends can also support you in your rental search. Just make sure you only ask for leads. Don’t ask a friend or family member to lease an apartment on your behalf. You can get into trouble legally. Your name should always be listed as an occupant on any lease your sign. Otherwise, you can get evicted or sued.
Additional Felon Housing Search Tips
While you are looking for a rental, make sure you look your best, whether you are dressed more casually or professionally. Establish a good rapport with the leasing agent or manager. Ask specific questions and be polite in all your dealings. Taking this approach will enable you to stay in a rental for a longer length of time. In the interim, if you cannot find an apartment, you might consider temporary housing until you can locate a permanent residence.
Also, follow a routine. It does not matter whether you live transitional housing or are looking for a job, sticking to a daily schedule will help you to remain positive and committed to settling in a residence that you will like and can affordably rent.