Finding housing for felons in New York 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 New York, 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 New York that will help you in your pursuit of felon friendly housing.
Felon Friendly Apartments in New York
Acclimating yourself to your community once again can be difficult, especially if you are released from prison after a long sentence. Therefore, it is essential that you obtain as much information as you can about reentry. We can help you by providing reentry listings for New York that we have created on the Jobs for Felons Hub website.
The listings can assist you in finding a job and rental so transitioning into the mainstream is not as difficult. Some of the programs we list also include substance abuse help and counseling. Start by reviewing and contacting the reentry listings for New York so you can settle into a transitional residence while searching for a permanent home.
Making Plans for Re-entry in New York
You will find a house or job search less of a struggle if you learn to become organized. In order to make this happen, you need to create check lists and write down a daily itinerary of planned activities.
The following checklist can also help you determine how to proceed with your reentry plans:
· Check about transitional housing
· Contact HUD, if applicable, about a permanent place to live
· Check on job training to support employment search
· Contact the appropriate agency, such as the One-Stop Center, about getting food stamps
· Book an appointment with a substance abuse counselor, if applicable
· Shop for professional clothing at the local thrift store or at a low-priced retailer
Transitional Housing in New York
You temporary housing search will be made easier if you visit the TransitionalHousing.org link. The website, which features over 5,500 transitional residences, can help felons who are seeking a transitional residence. Some of the residences also feature substance abuse counseling and help. The stay can last anywhere from a couple weeks to two years.
Other New York Housing Search Resources
In addition to referencing the reentry listings on the Jobs for Felons Hub website, you can also obtain apartment rental details through New York’s US Department of Housing and Urban Development, or through HUD. Local housing authorities in the state, along with HUD, work to help felons and others in need to locate subsidized housing. HUD rentals are available that discount the regular rental amount so a tenant can afford the monthly rent. The subsidized rental payment is determined by the applicant’s income, when compared to an area’s annual median income or AMI.
Therefore, contact HUD or a related agency immediately if you have been released from prison. If you are unable to secure an apartment, you will need to sign up on a waiting list. However, be aware, that felons who are sex offenders or who made and sold methamphetamine do not have access to HUD housing. Contact transitional housing programs and obtain further details from the DOC, the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services or the reentry listings on our site.
Don’t Search for Rentals at Large Mainstream Apartments
If you want to avoid frustration, don’t spend your time applying for apartments at large apartment complexes or popular apartment communities. Doing so will only bring you disappointment. To gradually reintegrate back into society, check out the transitional housing sources first, then look on Craigslist or apply at your local housing authority for subsidized rental options. Large apartment communities always check the applicant’s background. Therefore, this is not the first venue to choose to begin your housing search.
Check Out Your Criminal History
Before you proceed with your housing search, obtain a criminal history on yourself. You can use the data to negotiate rental agreements or as background info for obtaining temporary housing. Set aside a few minutes and run the search by following this link. The cost for the search is minimal.
Why Felons in New York and Elsewhere Are Often Refused Housing
Felons in New York and the rest of the country are regularly denied housing as no state or federal law has been established to prohibit the practice. Legally, property managers can deny a felon housing if they feel the applicant is a potential risk.
For the refusal to be illegal, it must include a protected class. Protected classes cover those applicants whose rental denial is based on their ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, disability, race or familial status. In some venues, a federally protected class may include those who are denied housings because of their gender or age.
Property managers may turn down applicants for housing if their financial and legal history includes non-payment of rent or evictions.
Discrimination, generally, only becomes an illegality when a property owner insists on refusing a rental in connection with an applicant’s race, ethnicity, sex, disability, disability, national origin, or religion. The discriminatory practice can also include gender or age in some situations.
If you visit NOLO online, you can find out more about illegal discrimination. You generally will be refused housing in a larger apartment community unless you have been out of prison for some time and your felony is over 10 years old, or you were charged with a non-violent crime.
Housing Law as It Applies to New York
Housing discrimination that is considered illegal references a property owner’s prejudice toward an applicant’s national origin, ethnicity, race, religion, disability, sex or familial status. You have to be charged with a felony that is associated with one of these federally protected classes then to ensure acceptance in a bigger apartment complex.
Arbitrary Discrimination in the Housing Market
Property managers, by law, can refuse a rental application as long as the discrimination is deemed legal. Therefore, as long as the decision is not based on prejudice, the applicant can be denied access to a rental property.
As long as the refusal is based on a property owner’s business or liability interests, it is considered fair and in accordance with the law. Whether you are a felon or not, you can be denied housing if you have a history of eviction or a low credit score. Arbitrary discrimination is further discussed by following this link.
New York Housing Authority
New York lists a number of local housing authorities that felons or other people in need can contact to obtain affordable housing. The housing agencies work in conjunction with HUD in New York to ensure people are properly housed in participating apartment communities. Once you are released from prison, contact your local housing authority or HUD office to find out what is available in permanent housing in your area. As previously stated, if you cannot secure a move-in ready apartment, you will need to sign up on a waiting list.
Once again, if you have been convicted of a felony that is related to the making and selling of methamphetamine or you have been charged with a sex offence, you will need to refer to the reentry listings that are featured by our website or contact the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services for assistance in this respect. You can also obtain your criminal history at the aforementioned link. However, the cost is higher than if you access a site that regularly offers access to criminal records.
New York Apartment Listings on Craigslist
Craigslist, as mentioned, is another viable resource for seeking a permanent residence. Most of the posters on the site are entrepreneurs or small real estate investors. Therefore, they are more flexible when working with potential tenants. In order to review the listings for housing in New York, start your search by following this link.
Once you are on the page, click on the locale where you want to live. Then proceed to the “housing” section listed at the top of the site. Include the price range for the rent before reviewing the listings. If you are from New York City, you can click on this link directly before clicking on the section for “housing.”
Reentry Programs in New York
Start your housing and job search on a positive note by reviewing the reentry listings for New York that have been developed by our site. Reference the information frequently so you can find temporary housing and job search assistance while you take steps to reintegrate back into society.
The New York Religious Community
Job and housing leads can also be accessed at area churches or faith-based agencies. If you are a member of a local church, ask your pastor if they can refer you to places that rent to felons or offer job training or employment. You can also obtain information by becoming a volunteer in an area-based organization.
Referrals From Friends and Family
Obtain support, as well, through family and friends. However, be careful about asking a friend or family member to sign a rental agreement on your behalf. That is because your name must be listed as an occupant on the lease. If you want to avoid any legal troubles, make sure your transactions are transparent and clear.
Additional Felon Housing Search Tips
Maintain a Business-like Appearance
In order to find a job or apartment, you need to show that you mean business. Therefore, you need to dress professionally. Stop by your local thrift store and purchase business-like apparel.
Maintain Professional Communications
Show your commitment toward finding a permanent place to live by maintaining professional communications. Keep the conversation business-like and professional to build your credibility and to show you are interested in securing a residence.
Review the Reentry Listings
Always review the reentry listings for New York featured by the Jobs for Felons Hub site. Use the information to keep you motivated while you make the transition back into the mainstream.
Maintain a Positive Demeanor
Never give up or get discouraged – keep persevering. Follow a daily schedule to stay on track with your goals and objectives.