Finding housing for felons in Puerto Rico 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 Puerto Rico, 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 Puerto Rico that will help you in your pursuit of felon friendly housing.
Felon Friendly Apartments in Puerto Rico
Are you just getting back into the mainstream? Have you just been released from prison? The Jobs for Felons Hub site is designed to make sure the transition is easier. In order to locate transitional housing, start by visiting this link. It will provide you with an introduction on public subsidized housing in Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico public housing administration oversees public housing initiatives. The housing authority is responsible for the ownership and management of 319 projects, all of which contain 55,072 rental units.
According to HUD, the housing administration in Puerto Rico is devoted to becoming an extra-large public housing authority or PHA, which means it manages over 10,000 public housing units. Section 8 assistance is available through another channel. This channel leads to the Section 8 housing list. The list features public housing authorities in Puerto Rico that provide Section 8 vouchers from HUD and lists apartments that are government-subsidized units.
Making the Transition into the Mainstream in the Puerto Rico
In order to make a transition back into Puerto Rico’s mainstream, you need to compile a list of to-do activities. In order to make your job and housing searches easier, a to-do list is a must. Following are some tasks to help you begin.
· Inquire about a transitional residence through your correctional facility’s reentry program.
· Calendar an appointment with a HUD-based housing agency about permanent housing.
· Ask about getting food stamps, or nutrition assistance.
· Contact area programs about job training.
· Buy professional clothing for job interviewing and apartment searches. Visit Puerto Rican thrift stores or discount retailers. Ask friends or family members about any apparel that they can donate.
· Obtain a copy of your criminal record online.
· Schedule a time to talk to a substance abuse counselor, if you need the help.
Temporary Housing in Puerto Rico
Information about temporary or permanent housing assistance for Puerto Rico and the 50 US states can be acquired by following the link, which leads to the Benefits.Gov site. The Benefit finder on the site can be used to find out where you can gain further information about HUD housing or public housing in Puerto Rico.
Other Puerto Rico Housing Resources
Felons living in Puerto Rico can talk to a HUD representative in order to find permanent apartments or similar dwellings. The US Housing of Urban Development or HUD works with people in need, or felons who are seeking affordable, habitable and safe housing. However, you cannot work with HUD if your felony involved the manufacture and selling of methamphetamine or you committed a sex offense. If you have either of these two felonies, ask a representative in the reentry program for your correctional facility about your housing options.
HUD housing in Puerto Rico ensures that an apartment or similar type of dwelling is subsidized in accordance with the area median income or AMI for a location. After the AMI and subsidy are determined, HUD pays for part of the rent while the tenant pays the remaining portion. If your income is extremely low, then you may be able to obtain a permanent home or apartment for free. You can also refer to the houses and apartments that are posted on Craigslist, or refer to community service organizations for employment and housing leads.
Don’t Apply for an Apartment in a Big Apartment Complex in Puerto Rico
Don’t start your housing search by trying to relocate to a large apartment complex. Usually, larger apartment communities are run by larger property management firms that regularly refuse felon applicants. To ensure a smoother housing search, look at apartments listed by HUD or review the listings on Craigslist.
Obtain Your Criminal Record Online
It is simpler to locate transitional housing or apartments when you have your criminal record with you. You can use the history as supporting documentation during your housing search. That way you will have the needed information for negotiating a lease or applying for temporary housing. Obtain your criminal record by clicking on this link. Only a small fee is charged for accessing the record.
Why Felons Are Typically Denied Housing in Puerto Rico
You will have a more difficult time finding housing as a felon as property managers consider you more of a liability. Plus, fair housing laws do not list felons as a class of people protected under illegal discrimination laws. People can claim illegal discrimination if a housing refusal is based on their national background, ethnicity, disability, race, sex, religion, or family status.
However, you may be able to rent an apartment if you can show your felony charge extended to a federally protected class. For example, a felony for drug use and distribution may have resulted from a mental disability. If so, you can look at apartments with a feeling of more certainty. If you have a disability that is associated with your felony charge, then the landlord must legally allow you to submit your application.
According to fair housing laws, discrimination becomes illegal when the landlord refuses a rental application because of their personal bias. As indicated, this type of bias can relate to a person’s national origin, ethnicity, race, family status, sex, religion, or disability. Anyone under these categories can sue a landlord for discrimination if they feel the rental decision was made out of bias.
Fair housing laws encourage discrimination when the applicant has not paid their rent, or has been evicted. In some cases, an applicant will be turned down for possessing a poor credit rating. Again, discrimination becomes illegal when it is based on a property manager’s refusal to rent because of race, religion, national origin, sex, ethnicity, disability, or family status.
Once more, property managers in Puerto Rico are considered guilty of illegal discrimination when they refuse to rent an apartment based on an applicant’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, family status, or disability. You can review the subject of illegal discrimination further by clicking on NOLO online.
The Housing Law in Puerto Rico
A property manager in Puerto Rico must follow HUD’s standards for fair housing. They are also responsible for drawing up a rental or leasing agreement. The contract should include the lease term and the occupancy limit.
The rental amount should be part of the contract as well as the rental due date. The payment is also inserted into the lease. The due date and how the rent should be paid should be included in the document. Security deposit information should also be clear and easy for a layperson to understand. You can read more about a rental agreement and how it is set up by following this link.
Property managers must also know the eviction process. Any rental or leasing decision can be based on business or liability. However, the landlord must put their personal prejudices aside when making a rental decision.
Arbitrary discrimination is considered illegal if a landlord leases an apartment to one person in a group but denies housing to another person in the same group. For instance, if a property manager chooses to accept your rental application but denies the application of another felon, they can be held accountable for their action. You can read more about arbitrary discrimination by clicking on the following link.
Puerto Rico Housing Authority
One of the HUD-affiliated agencies in Puerto Rico is the Puerto Rico Housing Finance Authority. The PRHFA has 9,299 Section 8 housing vouchers currently in inventory. However, you can also refer to another one of the 78 public housing authorities that take care of Section 8 subsidized housing. The PRHFA offers the most vouchers in the country.
Housing authorities are defined as quasi-governmental or governmental entities that oversee federal housing program on behalf of HUD. These programs make up public housing and section 8 housing choice vouchers, among others. The 78 housing authorities in Puerto Rico own and manage an aggregate of housing units and issue Section 8 vouchers. Of the 78 housing authorities, none of them have established both public housing and Section 8 programs.
The largest housing authority that features total housing assistance units is operated by the Puerto Rico Public Housing Administration. The PRPHA features 55,072 public housing units and 0 Section 8 vouchers. Besides the Puerto Rico Housing Finance Authority and the PRPHA, you can also obtain housing information via the HUD website for Puerto Rico.
The Section 8 housing choice voucher program, featured by HUD, allows governmental bodies the opportunity to offer more affordable and sanitary housing alternatives. Therefore, HUD was created to help people in need find suitable and habitable permanent housing.
If you have recently been released from prison, make an appointment with HUD ASAP. That way, you can move into a permanent place sooner than later. HUD in Puerto Rico features Section 8 dwellings for people whose income is 50% below the income guidelines established by the agency. HUD applicants whose income falls at 30% of the area median income or AMI are given preference. Therefore, felons with limited incomes have a good opportunity to obtain a rental.
HUD considers a housing applicant’s eligibility by looking at the size and composition of their household, the costs of medical care or childcare, and immigration status, if applicable. All HUD properties are regularly reviewed to make sure they are affordable, secure, and habitable.
Puerto Rico Apartment Listings on Craigslist
You can also obtain housing leads from the Craigslist platform for Puerto Rico. The advertisers on the site are usually smaller property owners or managers. Therefore, the rental requirements are typically not as strict as those of a major property management company. To start your search, click on the Puerto Rico Craigslist site. Find and click on the “housing” tab at the top of the platform. To narrow your search, include an affordable rental range.
Reentry Programs in Puerto Rico
To further enhance your housing search, check with the reentry program at your former correctional facility about permanent housing resources. You can also find out more about permanent housing through HUD’s Sectional 8 Housing Voucher program. The following link is a Section 8 housing list that features Puerto Rican public housing authorities (PHAs) that provide Section 8 vouchers from HUD. The site also leads to listings of government-subsidized apartments.
The Puerto Rico Religious Community
The religious community in Puerto Rico is also a source for housing or employment leads. Faith-based organizations and community service agencies can also be contacted for assistance.
Referrals From Friends and Family
Referrals provided by family and close friends can be used to assist you in obtaining an apartment or a job. However, never ask a close friend or family member to sign a rental contact on your behalf. Legally, your name should be listed as an occupant or tenant on the agreement. Otherwise, you could face an eviction or a lawsuit.
Additional Felon Housing Search Tips
Wear Professional Attire
Show landlords and employers the appropriate respect by wearing professional attire. Buy the clothing at a discount retailer or local thrift shop.
Behave in a Professional Manner
Not only should you look professional, you want to behave in a professional manner too. Disregard any negative comments and concentrate on developing a professional rapport.
Keep in Contact with the Jobs for Felons Hub Site
Keep in contact with the Jobs for Felons Hub site by reaching out to us on Facebook. We are here to support your efforts in getting a job or apartment.
Maintain a Regular Routine
Once you start a housing or employment search, maintain a regular routine. Follow a to-do list and schedule job and housing appointments throughout the week.