Finding housing for felons in Utah 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 Utah, 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 Utah that will help you in your pursuit of felon friendly housing.
Felon Friendly Apartments in Utah
Reentry, after prison life, can be an adjustment. However, your willingness to go forward and experience new challenges will be met with a variety of rewards. To help you begin the process, the Jobs for Felons Hub site has compiled reentry listings for Utah. This comprehensive list will assist you in your search for transitional and permanent housing as well as access job training and employment. You can find transitional housing as well as other kinds of assistance, such as food stamps, by following this link.
Re-entering the Mainstream in Utah
Whether you are seeking a permanent residence or are looking for employment, you need to establish an action plan. Therefore, creating a checklist can give you the needed incentive to develop a job or housing search routine. The following items are some suggestions that can help you get started.
· Contact social service organizations about obtaining transitional housing.
· Schedule an appointment with HUD or a HUD-related agency about their Section 8 Voucher Housing program.
· Ask about getting food stamps.
· Contact employment training programs
· Buy professional-looking apparel for housing and job searches at discount retailers or local thrift stores.
· Obtain a criminal background check.
· Ask about receiving substance abuse counseling and help, if required.
Transitional Housing in Utah
To obtain transitional housing in Utah, you need to follow this link. Transitionalhousing.org is a site that displays a large number of transitional housing programs. Many of the listings also offer substance abuse help and counseling. Housing can be acquired for as short as two weeks or for as long as a couple years. It just depends on a program’s guidelines. You can also reference the reentry listings for Utah for obtaining temporary housing.
Other Utah Housing Resources
Besides contacting the above-mentioned sites and programs, you will also want to contact the US Housing of Urban Development or HUD to obtain a list of local housing authorities or agencies. These agencies work on behalf of HUD to help felons and others find affordable, subsidized housing.
However, HUD does not work with everyone. If you have been convicted of making and selling methamphetamine or was charged and convicted of a sex offense, you need to speak to a reentry counselor at the correctional facility where you were released or at a reentry program (such as those listed on our site).
The subsidized rental program featured by HUD enables people to obtain housing based on their area’s annual median income or AMI. The housing authority pays the subsidy while the applicant pays the rest of the rental amount. If an income is almost non-existent or extremely low, then housing may be allocated for free. Craigslist, local churches, and faith-based organizations also provide housing or employment leads.
Don’t Apply for an Apartment in a Large Apartment Community
To avoid any feeling of defeat, don’t begin your rental search by contacting a large apartment community. Large apartment communities are run by large property management companies. Therefore, they are in the practice of turning down felons for housing. Instead, stick to looking on Craigslist or go through HUD to obtain a permanent place to live.
Obtain Your Own Criminal Background
You will increase your ability to obtain transitional housing or negotiate a lease if you obtain your criminal background first. Use the record as supporting documentation for getting situated into a temporary residence. You can obtain a copy of your criminal record by clicking on this link.
Why Felons Are Denied Rentals in Utah and the US
Felons lose their privilege to easily obtain housing in Utah and US, even after they have made restitution. In fact, no laws currently exist on the books that support felons in this respect. If a property manager in Utah or anywhere else in the country believes a felon poses a problem in terms of safety or liability, then they have it in their right to turn down the applicant.
According to the US Fair Housing Act, discrimination becomes an illegal activity when a landlord refuses to rent to an applicant because of their ethnicity, disability, national origin, sex, religion, or family status. Gender and age may, in some instances, be included in this grouping.
The list above represents a federally protected class of people – people who can sue a landlord if they are unable to secure housing because of a landlord’s prejudice. Property managers in Utah and the US are required, by law, to base any housing refusal on an applicant’s credit rating or rental history. Therefore, a rental manager can refuse an applicant if they have a history of evictions or non-payments or their credit score is poor. Each applicant who applies for a rental must be treated equally.
A leasing manager in Utah or the rest of the country who refuses to rent housing because of an applicant’s religion, race, ethnicity, sex, family status, or disability is going against the fair housing law in the US. However, a property manager is also in their right to refuse a rental to a felon as long as the denial does not extend to one of the protected classes. You can read more about illegal discrimination by visiting NOLO online.
The Housing Law in Utah
Property managers in Utah must know how to create a rental contract and provide rental housing that has been deemed habitable and secure. They are also required to follow the anti-discrimination laws that were established under the US Fair Housing Act. Managers must know the steps needed to evict a tenant as well. The US Fair Housing Act underscores the importance of making a rental decision that is unbiased and fair. That means a denial of housing must be based on an applicant’s rental history or credit score.
Arbitrary discrimination can quickly be construed as illegal discrimination if a preference is shown for a housing applicant. For example, if a landlord leases an apartment to a felon but turns down the application of another felon, he or she can be sued. All felons must be treated alike, according to the law. Unless a felon’s charge or circumstance extends to a federally protected classification, he or she must be treated the same as any other felon. You can read more about arbitrary discrimination by following this link.
Utah Housing Authority
The Utah Affordable Housing database is a good reference tool for felons and others who are looking for subsidized and affordable housing. The site offers the user a searchable database that will help them find affordable and available apartments that match their housing needs in accordance with their location. The listed apartments are designed to serve those people whose income is at 80% or below the area median income or AMI mandated by the US Housing and Urban Development office, or HUD.
In order to use the database, you need to insert your basic information, including the county where you plan to reside, your estimated income, and size of family. After inserting the data, click on the property in which you are interested and review the details. If you need further information, either directly contact the property manager or click on the name of the listed property.
Anyone in Utah who is seeking affordable housing is also encouraged to contact their local housing authority to apply for Section 8 housing assistance. You can refer to a listing of public housing authorities in Utah by clicking on this link or reference the HUD website for Utah by following this link.
Utah public housing authorities administer Housing Choice Voucher Section 8 programs and low-income programs. The Housing Choice Voucher Section 8 program offers housing for people whose yearly gross income does not exceed 50% of the income guidelines established by HUD. HUD requires that 75% of the new applicants be at 30% or below the area median income or AMI.
The median separates the distribution of income into two equal parts – one-half of the cases aree above the median income and one-half of the cases are below the median income. HUD uses the median income to calculate the income limits for eligibility in housing programs. HUD estimates the median family income for a specific area in the current year and then adjusts the amount for various family sizes so the income may be noted as a percentage of the AMI. Therefore, overall eligibility in a HUD-sponsored program is based on an applicant’s income, size and composition of household and citizenship status. Medical expenses and childcare costs are also factored into the equation.
Once more, if you have been released from prison and your felony does not involve the making and selling of methamphetamine or a sex offense, you should contact a public housing authority office or HUD immediately. The sooner you make an appointment, the sooner you can become established in your community.
Subsidized rentals that qualify under HUD include single-family dwellings, apartments, and mobile homes. They should be in a safe and sanitary condition and meet the guidelines set forth by Housing Quality Standards.
Utah Apartment Listings on Craigslist
Apartment listings can also be accessed on Craigslist. Because advertisers on the site are generally independent landlords, you have a better chance of renting an apartment or house. In order to review the current housing choices on Craigslist for Utah, access the following link. Then, select the city or town where you wish to live and click on the listing. Click on “housing” at the top of the page before adding the rental range.
Reentry Programs in Utah
Take time to regularly review the reentry listings for Utah that have been compiled by our site and reach out to us on Facebook with your job or housing concerns. You can count on us to continually support your efforts on obtaining a house or employment.
The Utah Religious Community
The religious community in Utah can be used as a source for housing or job leads. If you are currently a member of a Utah church, ask the members or pastor for job and housing leads and references. You can also obtain employment and housing information by contacting faith-based organizations.
Referrals From Friends and Family
Talk to your family and friends about your housing or job needs and ask for leads or references. However, never ask a close friend or family member to sign a rental contract on your behalf. Your name should be listed as an occupant on the lease. If you want to avoid the possibility of being sued or evicted, you should never take this step.
Additional Felon Housing Search Tips
Dress for Success
In order to succeed in your housing or employment search, you need to present yourself in a professional way. That means dropping by local discount retailers or thrift shops and putting together a professional wardrobe.
Maintain a Professional Demeanor
If you are wearing professional garb, you also want to communicate professionally. Learn not to take certain comments or remarks personally. Instead, switch to a communication’s style that is totally business-like or professional.
Contact the Programs that are Among the Reentry Listings for Utah
Contact the programs on the reentry listings for Utah that are featured on our site. Doing so will enable you to stay focused on getting a permanent residence or employment.
Follow a Regular Schedule
Keep on top of your searches by following a regular schedule. Even if you have not yet obtained a permanent apartment or employment, maintain a daily routine. Doing so will keep you focused and help you meet your objectives.