Finding housing for felons in Mississippi 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 Mississippi, 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 Mississippi that will help you in your pursuit of felon friendly housing.
Felon Friendly Apartments in Mississippi
If you are being released from prison in Mississippi, then you will need to refer to reentry programs in your state in order to find housing and a job. Many felons, upon release from prison, need help in finding a place to live and securing work. Some felons also need access to substance abuse services and counseling in order to reconnect with loved ones or family.
Routinely Refer to the Reentry Listings for the State
That is why it is essential to first refer to the reentry programs listed for Mississippi that have been created by the JobsForFelonsHub.com website. This state information will assist you in finding the programs and resources you need to get a home, obtain training for a job, or prepare yourself for a job interview. Refer to the list often and make sure to stay in contact with the JobsForFelon.com site for ongoing support when you, once again, acclimate yourself to everyday mainstream life.
Transitional Housing and Drug Rehabilitation Assistance in Mississippi
Besides referring to the reentry programs that are listed for Mississippi, you can also obtain transitional housing resources by following this link to TransitionalHousing.org. This site lists transitional housing resources, especially for individuals who need help with substance abuse or mental health problems. This site is a database of transitional housing listings for people seeking temporary housing in the U.S.
Currently, the platform maintains over 5,500 transitional housing shelters in its database. Both the housing location and information about the site is included along with pictures. Transitional housing, which is housing that is normally established for a limited time, can offer a person shelter from two weeks or for as long as two years.
Other Resources for Housing in Mississippi
Besides referring to the reentry information on the JobsForFelonsHub.com site, you can also find house rentals and apartments through Craigslist and the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Mississippi.
Housing authorities in Mississippi and HUD work in collaboration to help felons find homes that are affordable in accordance with the applicant’s annual median income or AMI. You should apply to HUD or a housing authority agency as soon as possible after your release from prison in case you need to sign up on a waiting list. HUD, however, will not work with you if your felony was associated with the making and selling of methamphetamines or you were a sex offender. You need to refer to the state reentry listings or talk to reentry specialists in the Department of Corrections about your options in this respect.
Also, while you are waiting for permanent housing, refer to the transitional housing assistance that is offered through reentry programs or on the aforementioned transitional housing database. The reentry listings compiled by the JobForFelonsHub.com site is the best resource to use when transitioning into the mainstream.
Don’t Apply for Housing at Large Apartment Communities
If you want to maintain on a positive track while searching for apartments or houses in Mississippi, don’t apply at large apartment communities. Large apartment communities are run by large property management companies that run background checks. Therefore, your chance of getting housing in these communities is not at all good. Instead, refer to the aforementioned reentry listings for Mississippi or perform a housing search on the Mississippi Craigslist site. Your local HUD office or housing authority is also a better choice for a felon seeking for a place to live.
Take a Look at Your Criminal Background First
Before you begin a housing search, perform a criminal history check on yourself. The activity takes a couple minutes and is assessed at a very low fee. You will need this information so you can more easily explain your situation to landlords or to support your need for transitional housing. To begin the activity, start by following this link.
Felons Can Be Turned Down for Housing in The US
While it does not sound fair, there is no law currently on the books in Mississippi or anywhere else in the US that makes it illegal to turn down a felon for housing. Unless a refusal to rent is associated with a protected class under the Fair Housing Act, you can be denied housing in the US. A property manager has it in their jurisdiction to discriminate against a housing applicant if they feel the applicant’s criminal background may pose a potential risk to their apartment complex or community.
Property owners in Mississippi and in other states in the US can legally discriminate, as well, against housing applicants who have past evictions or have not paid their rent in the past. When a discriminatory activity is based more on fact than bias, then a property owner can usually refuse to rent an apartment or a house.
Measures Used to Prevent Housing Discrimination
Discrimination in Mississippi, or in any of the other US states, becomes illegal when a landlord refuses to rent their property based on an applicant’s race, sex, ethnicity, family status, national origin or disability. Therefore, you can actually rent a house or apartment if your felony was the result of abusing drugs which stemmed from a mental disability.
That is because a disability is one of the protected classes under the US Fair Housing Act. As a result, a landlord can get sued if he or she will not rent you a house or apartment and the reason for your felony charge is related to a disability.
With that said, most of the other felony convictions make it difficult to rent. As a result, you will be denied housing if a property owner sees a felony on your background. Unless your crime is over a decade old and was non-violent, you will generally have difficulties applying at larger or more commercialized apartment complex. Stick to looking for housing through the listed reentry programs, Craigslist or your local housing authority or HUD office. You will receive a warmer reception. Discrimination is further explained by visiting NOLO online.
The Housing Law in the US – How It Applies to Felons
Discrimination can be legal or illegal. It falls into the category of illegal discrimination when a landlord becomes biased in his or her decision to rent. As a result, felons in Mississippi or anywhere else in the US can regularly be turned down for housing when their background is checked.
Again, property owners can turn down felons for housing as long as their decision is not based on the applicant’s protected classification – or their race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sex, or family status. Therefore, landlords must work at making a fair decision and ensuring that their decision does not extend to a protected class. Any rental decision to rent or not to rent should be objective and fair.
The US Fair Housing Administration has mandated legislation that makes it illegal for a property owner to deny housing as the result or prejudice. Arbitrary discrimination, for example, does not always appear to be illegal, but it can take that form if the landlord is not careful. Again, if their decision is based more on their bias than it is on business reasons or liability concerns, they can get sued for illegal discrimination by a housing applicant. Read more about arbitrary discrimination by following this link.
Mississippi Housing Authority
The Mississippi Housing Authority serves several regions in Mississippi and works with HUD in Mississippi to supply rental housing for people whose income falls well below the annual median income or AMI for an area. Housing authority representatives work with participating HUD landlords and low-income applicants to secure affordable housing that is safe and habitable. A list of Mississippi housing authorities can be found by following this link and reviewing the listings.
Again, once you get out of prison, schedule an appointment immediately with the Mississippi housing authority for your area or your local HUD agency. You may be able to get into a move-in ready apartment right away or might have to wait and add your name to a waiting list. However, the faster you schedule an appointment, the sooner you can see results. According to housing authority professionals, subsidized housing takes applications from the elderly or disabled or from households whose head of household is one person, a working family, or minors.
Mississippi Apartment Listings on Craigslist
Once more, Craigslist in Mississippi is an ideal site to view for rental housing or apartment choices. Most of the advertisers on the site either own small real estate businesses or are entrepreneurs. As a result, they are not as strict when reviewing an applicant’s background or application.
To review the listings for Craigslist in Mississippi, visit the site by following this link. After clicking on the link, pick the town or city where you want to reside. Then, click on the “housing” section that is located at the top of the site’s page. Narrow down your selection by adding your rental range.
Reentry Programs in Mississippi
Begin your housing search by reviewing the reentry programs listed for Mississippi. These listings will enable you to find a job or transitional housing and can lead you to locating a permanent place to live
The Mississippi Religious Community
Another resource you can use in your housing search is your local church. Ask your pastor for leads or refer to faith-based organizations. You might also consider volunteering for a program in your community where you can access job or housing leads.
Referrals From Friends and Family
Friends and family can also lend assistance in your search for a rental apartment or house. Just don’t ask a close friend, parent or sibling to rent real estate on your behalf. Doing so can get you into more legal trouble. Your name has to be listed on the lease or the landlord could sue you or evict you.
Additional Felon Housing Search Tips
Buy Professional Looking Clothes
During your housing search, it is essential to maintain a professional appearance. When you dress professionally, it adds credibility to your demeanor. You can find the needed clothes by paying a visit to your local thrift store.
Ask Pertinent Questions
When you schedule a leasing appointment, make sure your questions are both business-like and pertinent. You want to establish a good relationship with the landlord. That kind of effort will make it possible for you to retain permanent housing – housing that you can live in for a long length of time.
Refer to Reentry Listings
Again, refer to the reentry listings for Mississippi that have been developed by the JobsForFelonsHub.com site and refer to the site for transitioning assistance.
Establish a Regular Routine
Whether you are looking for a house or job, it is important to establish a regular routine. Even after you get an apartment, maintain a daily itinerary. Keeping busy will give you the confidence needed to excel and go forward in your community.