Finding housing for felons in Oregon 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 Oregon, 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 Oregon that will help you in your pursuit of felon friendly housing.
Felon Friendly Apartments in Oregon
You are about to embark on a new journey in our life and the Jobs for Felons Hub is here to help. In order to find out who you can contact about reentry, our site has compiled reentry listings for Oregon. Review this site regularly to assist you in obtaining the guidance you need to obtain job training or housing assistance. You can also located transitional housing by following this link.
Planning for Reentry into Oregon
When reentering society in Oregon, you need to complete a checklist of what you need to do in order to realize your job search or housing goals. Listing what you need to do will help streamline the process. For instance, you might include some of the following activities on a checklist.
· Contact programs about temporary housing.
· Contact the local health department about obtaining food stamps.
· Contact area employment training programs.
· Buy professional clothing for a job or housing search. Stop in at a thrift store or discount retailer.
· Calendar a time to talk to a counselor about drug or alcohol abuse issues.
Transitional Housing in Oregon
If you need transitional housing while you are looking for a permanent residence, refer to the reentry listings on the Jobs for Felons site or follow the link to TransitionalHousing.org. The website is a platform that lists thousands or temporary residences – designed for both felons and other people who need temporary shelter.
Many of the homes or residences listed on the site also offer help for anyone with substance abuse issues. Applicants can sign up for as short of period as two weeks or for as long as two years.
Other Oregon Housing Resources
Besides contacting sources at the aforementioned sites, you should also make plans to contact the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or a local housing authority. By contacting either of these agencies, you will gain access to resources that provide housing subsidies. HUD works with local housing authorities to assist felons and others obtain rental housing that is affordable.
That’s because the rental program through HUD takes the annual median income (AMI) of an area and compares it to an applicant’s income or current means of support. In some cases, a felon can obtain free housing if his or her income is virtually non-existent.
However, you won’t be able to work with HUD or a housing authority if you were convicted of a felony charge that was related to the manufacture and sale of methamphetamine or you are a registered sex offender. If you have served time for either of the two mentioned felonies, you need to refer to the DOC reentry program at your correctional facility.
You can also obtain leads for rentals by clicking on the Craigslist site for Oregon or by contacting faith-based organization or churches in your town or city. Social agencies may offer job or housing leads as well.
Don’t Look for Rentals in Larger Apartment Communities
It’s not a good idea to begin your housing search by contacting a property management firm that oversees a large apartment complex. Large property management firms turn down applications from felons and will not rent to them. Therefore, it is better to stick to the above recommendations if you wish to obtain transitional or permanent housing.
Obtain Your Criminal Record
In order to start your housing search, you should first obtain your criminal record or “rap sheet.” You can obtain the record for a minimal fee. Simply click on this link to begin. Use the information to negotiate your lease or as a reference tool for your transitional housing needs.
Why Felons Are Regularly Denied Housing in Oregon and the US
Felons who bypass reentry programs and try to search for an apartment themselves often are denied housing as the result of their criminal record. No law exists on the books that prevents this from happening. That is because, currently, a property manager is in their legal right to deny a housing applicant housing if they believe the applicant could pose a risk or liability to their rental community.
According to the US Fair Housing Act, refusing rental housing is only considered illegal when it is associated with an applicant’s ethnicity, race, disability, sex, religion, family status or national origin. In some cases, age and gender are added to this list. The list covers federally protected classes of people who can sue a landlord if they are denied housing based on prejudice.
Nevertheless, it is still legal for landlords in Oregon and elsewhere in the US to refuse a rental to an applicant whose rental history reveals a series of evictions or non-payment of rent. They can also refuse housing to applicants with a poor credit score. Any time a decision is based on prejudice, the discrimination is considered illegal.
Discrimination in Oregon, or any other state in the US, turns into a legal dispute if an applicant is refused a rental because of their ethnicity, race, disability, national origin, family status, sex, or religion. The US Housing Act stipulates that all housing applicants be treated equitably. Therefore, property managers can turn down felons as a group. As long as the refusal to rent does not extend to a protected classification, the property owner can deny a rental application. You can obtain further information about illegal discrimination by referring to NOLO online.
The Housing Law in Oregon
Property managers are held responsible for following the anti-discrimination laws where they rent apartments and making sure that the housing is habitable. They must also be able to draw up a written lease agreement and know how to proceed with an eviction. When housing discrimination is considered illegal, it is normally due to a property owner’s bias toward an applicant. To make a legal decision then, a property owner must base on an applicant’s rental record or credit score.
Arbitrary discrimination can become a legal issue if the landlord favors one tenant in a group over another. For instance, if a property owner in Oregon rents a unit to a felon but refuses your application and you are a felon as well, he or she is practicing what is known as arbitrary discrimination. Because all applicants in a group must be treated the same, the property manager can be sued for taking this approach. You can read more about arbitrary discrimination by following this link.
Oregon Housing Authority
Oregon Housing and Community Services is Oregon’s finance agency offering housing and rental support for people in need. Along with the OHCS, felons and others in need can contact HUD in Oregon or refer to the listing of 22 local housing agencies.
Any of the HUD-related services enables low-income families, individuals with disabilities and the elderly to afford habitable housing. Participants can choose from housing, such as apartments, townhouses or single-family homes. Generally, single individuals can refer to a participating list of apartment communities.
If your felony did not involve a sex offense or the manufacture and sale of methamphetamine, you can contact your local HUD office or related agency as soon as you are released from prison. While you may not be able to move into an apartment right away, you will be able to sign up for one or have yourd name included on a waiting list. The sooner you make an appointment, the sooner you will be able to obtain permanent housing.
Oregon Apartment Listings on Craigslist
Craigslist, as state, is yet another venue where you can obtain an apartment or a house. Most of the listers on the platform are entrepreneurial or are smaller property managers. Therefore, they are less stringent about their rental requirements. In order to access Craigslist for Oregon, being by following this link. Next, select the preferred town or city and then click on “housing” at the top of the page. Narrow your search by inserting the rental range.
Reentry Programs in Oregon
Begin your employment or housing search by scanning the reentry listings for Oregon. Review the data and make the needed contacts to remain active in your search for an apartment or a job.
The Oregon Religious Community
You can also obtain the job or housing leads you need by contacting faith-based organizations or local churches in your community. If you are a member of a church, ask you pastor about any job or housing leads that he or she can share.
Referrals From Friends and Family
You can also obtain references for housing from friends or family. However, don’t ask a close friend or family member to sign a rental contract on your behalf. In order for the document to be legal, your name has to be included on the paperwork. Otherwise, you could be sued or evicted.
Additional Felon Housing Search Tips
Wear Professional Clothing
When seeking housing or employment, make sure you are professionally attired. You can find suitable clothes by visiting a local thrift store or a discount retailer.
You are making a new beginning. Therefore, it is important to establish trust and to maintain it with prospective employers and landlords. Maintain professional communications and learn not to take certain comments personally. Maintain a professional rapport to underscore both trust and confidence.
Review the Reentry Programs for Oregon
Regularly review the reentry programs for Oregon that are listed on this site. Maintain contact with the agencies so you have a support system behind you as you look for housing and a job.
Devote Your Time to Your Search
Devote your time to searching for employment or housing. If you don’t receive a positive response, don’t let it defeat you. View the situation with objectivity. Stay on a positive track and you will realize your goals and objectives.