Finding housing for felons in Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma, 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 Oklahoma that will help you in your pursuit of felon friendly housing.
Felon Friendly Apartments in Oklahoma
If you are reading this page, you are at the right site. Jobs for Felons Hub has completed a list of reentry programs for Oklahoma. Click on the following link to review the reentry listings for Oklahoma.
Our site will help you reintegrate into society as it features residences and programs that include help with substance abuse issues. Transitional housing resources, that include substance abuse counseling, can also be found by following this link.
Making Plans for Reentry into Oklahoma
When making plans for reentry in Oklahoma, you need to write down the activities you need to accomplish in order to be successful in a job or housing search. If you want things to go more smoothly, you need to list what you plan to do. For example, a check list might include some or all of the following activities:
· Schedule appointments to obtain temporary housing.
· Call the local HUD office to set an appointment to obtain a permanent residence.
· Contact employment training programs.
· Ask about food stamps. (The TransitionalHousing.org site offers food stamp assistance.)
· Shop for professional clothing to wear when searching for a rental or a job – look at the clothes featured in thrift stores or in discounted retailers.
· Schedule an appointment to get help with substance abuse issues.
Temporary Housing in Oklahoma
If you need a temporary shelter while you look for a permanent apartment, then refer to the reentry listings compiled on our site or click on the TransitionalHousing.org website. The site displays thousands of residences on its platform that provide transitional or temporary housing for felons and other people in need.
Many of the residences feature assistance for individuals who have had substance abuse issues in the past or are currently experiencing drug abuse problems. You can sign up for a period of two weeks to two years, depending on the program.
Other Oklahoma Housing Resources
Besides referring to the aforementioned resources, it is also essential that you make an appointment with your local housing authority or contact the state’s US Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is also referred to as HUD. HUD is designed to work in cooperation with local housing authorities to help felons and other low-income individuals retain subsidized housing.
The apartment leasing program, offered through HUD, compares the annual median income (AMI) in an area with an applicant’s current means of support or salary. In some instances, you can obtain free housing if you are not currently working or your means of support is exceptionally low.
If your felony was related to a drug-related charge, especially one that involved the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine, or if you are a registered sex offender, you need to find a different arrangement. HUD will not work with felons with these charges. Ask your DOC reentry program advisors for housing help if you cannot work with HUD when you are released from prison.
You can also obtain housing leads by visiting Craigslist or by contacting local churches or faith-based organizations. Inquire at social agencies about housing or job leads as well.
Don’t Bother Searching in Large Apartment Communities
Unfortunately, you cannot start your search by visiting one of the larger apartment communities. They will check your record and immediately turn you down. Stick with the above-mentioned suggestions to avoid disappointment when searching for a permanent residence.
Obtain Your Criminal History
You can begin your housing search by going online and obtaining your criminal history. The history, which is processed in a quick amount of time, can be obtained for a very low fee. To receive further details and obtain your criminal record, simply click on this link. You can better negotiate lease deals or talk to counselors at transitional housing programs when you have your criminal record in hand.
Why Felons Are Refused Housing in Oklahoma and the US
Felons are regularly refused housing in Oklahoma and the rest of the US because there are no laws on the books that discourages the practice. A property manager is in their legal right to refuse housing to a felon if they believe he or she is a potential liability or could pose a risk to their apartment community or housing development.
In accordance with the US Fair Housing Act, denying housing is only illegal when it relates to a housing applicant’s race, ethnicity, sex, disability, religion, familial status or national origin. In some instances, gender and age are included in this listing. This list covers the federally protected classes of individuals who can dispute a landlord’s decision for refusing them housing.
However, it is legal for property managers in Oklahoma and elsewhere to deny housing to rental applicants whose rental history shows a series of non-payments or evictions, or whose credit rating is poor. Any time a property manager’s decision is biased, the discrimination is no longer legally based.
Discrimination in Oklahoma, or any other state, becomes illegal when a landlord denies a rental to an applicant because, as stated, of their disability, ethnicity, race, national origin, familial status, religion, or sex. The US Housing Act also adds that housing applicants must be treated similarly, which includes felons as a group. If all felons are treated the same, or turned down for housing in a community, then a property manager is in their right to refuse a felon housing. As long as the reason for the denial does not extend to a protected category, the landlord has the right to deny an application. You can obtain further details about illegal discrimination by clicking on NOLO online.
The Housing Law in Oklahoma
Property managers must follow anti-discrimination laws when they rent apartments and make sure any housing they rent is habitable as well. They also must be able to prepare a written rental contract and know the steps required for eviction. When housing discrimination is defined as illegal, it is typically due to a landlord’s own prejudice against an applicant. To make a legal decision, a landlord must base his reason for not renting on an applicant’s credit score or rental history.
Arbitrary discrimination often becomes an illegal form of discrimination if a landlord uses favoritism when renting an apartment. For example, if a landlord in Oklahoma rents an apartment to a felon you know but turns you down and you have a felony record as well, he or she is practicing arbitrary discrimination. In this case, you would be in your legal right to sue the property manager. You can gain more information about arbitrary discrimination by following this link.
Oklahoma Housing Authority
The Section 8 housing choice voucher (HCV) program offered by the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) is a HUD program designed for helping low-income families, the elderly and individuals with disabilities to afford housing that is habitable and safe. Participants can select from any housing that meets the mandates of the program, including townhouses, apartments and single-family type homes.
Rental units in the program must meet the minimum regulations for health and safety. A housing subsidy is remitted by the OHFA to the property manager on behalf of the tenant. The tenant then pays the difference between the rental amount and the OHFA subsidy.
Besides the OHFA, you can also directly contact HUD in Oklahoma or one of the listed Oklahoma housing authorities. You can find out more about your legal rights as a tenant in Oklahoma as well by clicking on this link. According to affordable housing research, Oklahoma features around 815 rentals that receive some type of Federal housing assistance and are, at least, partially established for low-income people. The properties contain about 40,060 units.
If your felony did not involve a sex offense or the making and selling of methamphetamine, you need to contact a HUD office or the OHFA as soon as you are released from prison. While you may not secure a move-in ready apartment right away, you can sign up on a waiting list so you can get a permanent residence when one comes available. The sooner you make an appointment, the sooner you can obtain housing.
Oklahoma Apartment Listings on Craigslist
You will also find that Craigslist is another worthwhile platform to look for housing. Most of the advertisers on the site are smaller property owners or managers. Therefore, they are more accommodating to people seeking a rental. In order to access Craigslist for Oklahoma, start by clicking on this link. Next, choose your preferred city or town and then click “Housing” at the top of the page. Short-list your selections by entering a rental range.
Reentry Programs in Oklahoma
Start your housing and employment search by reviewing the reentry listings for Oklahoma. Review the information and contact the sources so you can stay active in your job and housing searches and can more easily access leads.
The Oklahoma Religious Community
You can also gather job or housing information by contacting local churches or faith-based agencies. If you are a member of a local congregation, you might try asking the pastor about housing information or any job leads. You can also obtain leads by volunteering in community-based organizations.
Referrals From Friends and Family
Friends and family can also assist you in your housing search. However, don’t ask a close friend or family member to sign a lease agreement on your behalf. Legally, your name has to be included as an occupant. If you are not listed, you could get into legal trouble, or get evicted or sued.
Additional Felon Housing Search Tips
Wear Professional Attire
When looking for a job or housing, you need to show you are committed to the task at hand. Therefore, make sure you wear professional attire when scheduling appointments to look at an apartment or apply for a job. You can buy low-cost clothing at your local thrift store.
Wearing professional attire will give you the confidence needed to establish credibility with prospective landlords or employers. Make sure your communications are professional and that you learn not to take any remarks or comments personally. Be professional and serious to establish your credibility.
Review the Reentry Programs for Oklahoma
Continue to reference the reentry programs that are listed for Oklahoma on our site. Maintain ongoing contact with local agencies so you can reenter society on a positive note.
Stay Committed to Your Search
Stay committed to searching for a job or apartment. If you don’t receive the response you want, look at the situation objectively. Maintain a positive attitude so you can realize your goals.