Finding housing for felons in Minnesota 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 Minnesota, 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 Minnesota that will help you in your pursuit of felon friendly housing.
Felon Friendly Apartments in Minnesota
Reintegrating yourself in the mainstream can be made easier when you refer to the reentry programs for Minnesota that has been compiled by the JobForFelonsHub.com site. By reviewing this list, you can find the resources needed to encourage you to look for rental homes and get a job. When you know where to look, you will find that your house search or job search will be more rewarding.
The Minnesota Department of Corrections works toward reducing recidivism, which, in turn, measures the effectiveness of the departments correctional programming. For example, college training is offered in prison to ensure felons re-integrate into mainstream society successfully.
That is why it is essential to your job hunting and home hunting search that you refer to the reentry listings for Minnesota that has been created by the JobForFelonsHub.com site. Use these referral programs to stay motivated in finding a home or a job. You can also refer to programs that will assist you in getting temporary housing before a more permanent residence is found.
Featured Reentry Provider – The Salvation Army of Minnesota
For any felon who needs housing, the Salvation Army offers transitional housing for felons and others in need of shelter. In addition, each center provides opportunities for work and group and individual therapy, all which is featured in a wholesome and clean environment. The spiritual and physical care that individuals receive gives them the resolve to return to the mainstream and gain employment and housing.
Group homes, transitional living centers and emergency shelters enable felons and others to obtain food and temporary housing. Educational assistance, counseling and vocational services are available as well. Temporal needs are met through emergency housing, food and utility assistance. When you click on the Salvation Army’s main website, insert your city at the top-right hand of the page to contact the center closest to you.
Other Housing Resources in Minnesota
Besides referencing the reentry listings on the JobsForFelonsHub.com site, you can also find house rentals or apartments through Craigslist and the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Minnesota. Housing authorities and HUD in the state help felons locate subsidized housing that is affordable and permanent.
The housing provided by HUD or HUD-based agencies applies a housing applicant’s annual median income (AMI) in discounting the rental rate. If the income falls well below the AMI for an area, then a felon will receive a discount on their rental or get their housing for free.
HUD or affiliated local housing authorities can therefore provide move-in ready apartments to low-income applicants. However, you may not be able to get into an apartment right away. As a result, you may need to sign up on a waiting list. That is why it is important to visit a HUD office or housing authority right after you are released from prison. Doing so will enable you to obtain permanent housing all that much faster. While you are waiting, you can refer to the reentry programs that offer temporary or emergency housing in the interim.
Don’t Apply at a Major Apartment Complex in Minnesota
If you want to stay on track in your housing search, don’t take a detour by applying at a major apartment complex. Doing so will only thwart your efforts. Major complexes in the state are also run by major property management companies. As a result, they also run background checks. Most felons are turned down on the spot. If you want to avoid the experience, refer to the aforementioned reentry listings or perform a rental search on Minnesota’s Craigslist.
Your HUD office is generally more felon-friendly as well. However, if your felony involved the selling of methamphetamines or a sex offense, it is better to refer to a reentry program instead. HUD will not supply apartments to felons with these kinds of charges in their criminal history.
Check Your Own Criminal History
Begin the rental search process by performing a criminal history check on yourself. You need this information in order to better negotiate a lease or apply for transitional housing. To have the check performed, simply start by following this link. You will be assessed a small fee.
Why Felons Can Be Denied Housing
Although the word “discrimination” is associated with negative connotations, it can be defined as illegal and legal. For example, when a credit card company checks your credit score, that is a form of legal discrimination. The card company may or may not deny your application, solely based on your score. Also, it is not illegal for landlords to discriminate against an applicant with a criminal history, especially if he or she feels the charge could result in an increased risk.
Property managers can also discriminate against housing applicants whose rental history features evictions and non-payment of rent. As long as the discrimination is based on fact rather than bias and enables the decision-maker to make an equitable decision, then discrimination is not an illegal activity.
Regardless of whether you live in Minnesota or any other state if the US, the discrimination becomes illegal when a property owner rejects a rental application out of prejudice. According the US Fair Housing Act, landlords are not permitted to deny housing to applicants because of their family status, sex, race, ethnicity, disability, religion or national origin.
Actually, a felon can rent an apartment then if his or her felony charge is associated with illegal drug abuse, as long as the abuse stemmed from a mental or physical disability. That is because a disability falls under the category of a protected class. Therefore, a property manager can get sued if they refuse to rent any apartment to a felon or anyone else whose reason for denial extends to one of the protected classes.
With that being said, most felony convictions will result in rental denials. As long as the property manager believes your felony is a risk to his or her community, they will not rent you a house or apartment. In Minnesota as well as elsewhere in the US, no law has been enacted that stops landlords from denying felons rental housing.
Unless your felony is about 10+ years old and was non-violent, you will be turned down automatically in larger rental communities. That is why it is essential to refer to reentry listings, your local housing authority or Craigslist when trying to find a house or apartment to rent. Discrimination is further explained by visiting the legal site of NOLO online.
How the Housing Law Affects Felons in Minnesota and the US
Discrimination, generally, is illegal when a landlord bases his or her rental decision on their own prejudices rather than looking at the facts. Therefore, felons in Minnesota and elsewhere who are refused housing usually are denied based on their criminal history.
Taking a Look at Arbitrary Discrimination
A landlord is in their right to refuse felons housing as long the decision extends to all the members charged with a felony and that charge does not extend to a protected classification. In order for a landlord be fair about their decision then, they must make sure their reasoning is based on facts and data and is not based on an applicant’s religion, ethnicity, race, national origin, sex, disability or family status. The refusal of an application must be judicious and fair to the applicant.
Any rental application that is refused as the result of a property owner’s prejudice is illegal and can also be considered arbitrary. In many cases, arbitrary discrimination does not look illegal but it can become that way if a landlord is not fair in their assessment. You can obtain more information about arbitrary discrimination by following this link.
Minnesota Housing Authority
The Minnesota Public Housing Authority (MPHA) works in collaboration with HUD in Minnesota to provide low-income or subsidized housing to families and individuals. The rent for the housing is based on the annual median income or AMI for a community. Felons whose means of support falls well below the AMI can receive a discount on their rent or get their housing for free. The MPHA then acts as a go-between for the participating landlord and tenant.
Again, it is best to schedule an appointment with your local housing authority or HUD office as soon as you are released from prison. The sooner you make contact with the agency, the sooner you can obtain rental housing. Should the agency not have any move-in apartments, you will have to add your name to a waiting list. According to housing authority experts, heads of households in HUD-subsidized housing include disabled or elderly people or households mainly composed of a single person, working family or minors.
Minnesota Apartment Listings on Craigslist
Craigslist is an excellent resource for finding an apartment or house. Usually, the property managers are entrepreneurs and therefore don’t require background checks. Even if a background check is performed, you will find it easier to discuss your situation to the landlord.
To review the listings for Craigslist in Minnesota, simply click on this link. Next, choose the town or city where you wish to live. Click on the “housing” section in the top section of the page. You can short-list your choices further by including the rental range.
Reentry Programs in Minnesota
The best way to begin a housing search in Minnesota is to review the reentry listings for the state. Make it a regular practice to look at the reentry programs for Minnesota that have been developed by the JobsForFelonsHub.com site.
The Minnesota Religious Community
Take time to contact faith-based organizations, like the aforementioned Salvation Army, as well as ask for leads from local churches. If you currently are a member of a church, ask the pastor for referrals for housing or jobs.
Referrals From Friends and Family
Friends and family can also help support you in your housing search. Just don’t ask a family member or friend to lease a rental on your behalf. It is important to include your name on the lease. Otherwise, the property manager has the right to evict you from the property.
Additional Felon Housing Search Tips
Maintain a Professional Demeanor
When looking for housing in Minnesota, maintain a professional demeanor and look the part. Stop by a thrift store to update your look and buy professional-looking clothes.
Ask Professional and Pertinent Questions
Once you have scheduled a rental appointment, work at establishing a good rapport with the landlord or leasing agent. Ask pertinent questions and behave professionally. Maintain good communications to ensure a solid standing in your community.
Refer to Reentry Listings
Always review the reentry listings that are compiled by the JobsForFelonsHub.com site to keep you motivated and up-to-date on your choices. You can refer to the listings to help you find temporary housing while you search for a permanent residence.
Maintain a Regular Routine
Always maintain a regular routine, whether you are looking for a job or working every day. Once you have rented an apartment or house, show your commitment to making things work in your community.