Finding housing for felons in Washington 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 Washington, 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 Washington that will help you in your pursuit of felon friendly housing.
Felon Friendly Apartments in Washington
Now is a crucial time as you have been released from prison. Therefore, you are going through a period of readjustment. To assist in the transition, the Jobs for Felons Hub site has developed a compilation of reentry listings for Washington state. This comprehensive list will enable you to search for permanent and transitional housing as well as employment and job training resources. You can also find temporary housing sources and help by following this link.
Adjusting Yourself to Mainstream Society in Washington
Part of your job and housing search efforts includes following a checklist of activities. By establishing this kind of to-do list, you can proceed toward your goals with more clarity. The following items are activities you can plan while searching for a job or housing.
· Contact temporary housing resources featured online.
· Schedule an appointment with HUD or a HUD-based housing authority about getting a permanent place to stay.
· Ask about getting food stamps.
· Contact area programs that assist in job training and employment services
· Buy professional-looking apparel for employment and housing appointments at discount retailers or local thrift stores. Ask friends or family members about possibly making a clothing donation to wear for employment or housing appointments.
· Obtain a personal criminal history.
· Make an appointment to schedule substance abuse counseling, if required.
Temporary Housing Sources in Washington
Temporary housing in Washington can be accessed by clicking on the transitionalhousing.org link. Listings are displayed for all the 50 states. Many of the transitional housing programs include help for people with substance abuse problems as well. You can also refer to the reentry listings for Washington for your transitional housing needs as well.
Other Washington Housing Suggestions
HUD, also known as the Department of Housing and Urban Development, assists felons in their housing needs. Local housing agencies associated with HUD support the governmental department’s efforts in securing permanent housing for felons and others in need. However, that being said, not all felons can schedule an appointment with HUD.
HUD will not work with you if you have been charged with the making and selling of methamphetamine or were convicted of a sex offense. If you have either of these two offenses in your criminal history, you need to seek help through your correctional facility’s reentry program or through one of the reentry programs listed on our site.
The housing program featured by HUD permits people to obtain housing in the form of an apartment, single-family dwelling, townhouse or mobile home based on a locale’s annual median income or AMI. The housing agency pays a calculated subsidized amount, based on the applicant’s need, and the tenant covers the rest of the rental amount. If your income is extremely low, you may be able to acquire HUD housing for free. Also, search Craigslist postings and contact local social service agencies for Washington job and housing leads.
Don’t Apply for an Apartment in a Large Washington Apartment Complex
If you don’t want to feel overly frustrated during your search for an apartment, then don’t try to rent an apartment in a large apartment complex. Large apartment complexes are run by equally large property management companies that do not lease to felons. Instead, follow the aforementioned suggestions when searching for a place to live.
Obtain Your Criminal History Record
It always helps to obtain your criminal history as the paperwork can be used to obtain transitional housing and assist you in the lease negotiation process. Show that you are upfront and reliable and secure your criminal record before searching for a job or an apartment. Begin the process by clicking on this link.
Why Felons Are Denied Rentals in Washington and the US
Having a criminal record will cause you difficulties when leasing an apartment. That is because no laws exist in the US that offer felons a break in this respect. If a property manager believes you could be a liability, then he or she is in their right to deny your rental application.
According to the laws associated with fair housing, discrimination is considered illegal when a property manager bases his refusal to rent on an applicant’s disability, national origin, ethnicity, sex, family status, race or religion. This listing represents a federally protected class of people – people who are in their right to sue a property manager for discriminating against them based on one of the foregoing classifications.
By law, a property manager can only deny housing to an applicant because of his or her criminal record or rental history. In turn then, applicants can be turned down for housing if they have a poor credit history, have evictions or non-payments in their leasing history, or have been tried and convicted of a misdemeanor or felony.
Property managers in Washington and the rest of the US, who refuse to rent to an applicant because of their race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, family status, sex or disability are discriminating illegally. You can read more about illegal discrimination at the NOLO site online.
The Housing Law in Washington
Property managers in Washington must follow the mandates established by federal anti-discrimination laws. They need to know how to create a lease contract and know what steps they need to take to evict a renter. Their leasing decisions must be equitable and fair, and based on business reasons versus prejudice.
Arbitrary discrimination is also considered illegal, especially when a property manager favors one applicant in a class over another applicant. For example, if a landlord accepts your application, and you are a felon, but turns down the application of another applicant who is also a felon, then they can get into legal hot water for practicing arbitrary discrimination. You can find out more about arbitrary discrimination by clicking on this link.
Washington Housing Authority
The Washington State Housing Finance Commission can lead you to affordable housing or you can also access this link, which leads to aptfinder.org. The site enables you to locate an affordable property through low-income, governmentally funded programs, such as the HUD project-based subsidized program, the HUD tenant-based housing choice voucher program and similar low-income housing initiatives. You can also refer to HUD in Washington and HUD-based local housing authorities.
Therefore, if you need to find a permanent place to live, you need to schedule an appointment with a HUD-based agency that offers Section 8 housing help. The public housing authorities in Washington state administer the Housing Choice Voucher Section 8 program to felons and people in need whose total gross income does not exceed 50% of HUD income guidelines. HUD requires that most of the new applicants’ income be 30% or below the annual median income or AMI. Therefore, your chance of getting housing is relatively good.
HUD eligibility is based on your income, the size and composition of your household and your citizenship status. Costs for medical care and childcare are included as well. HUD subsidized housing ranges from apartments to town homes to single-family dwellings and mobile homes. All residences must meet the Housing Quality Standards established by US Fair Housing law.
Washington Apartment Listings on Craigslist
You can also search on Washington’s Craigslist for rental housing. Because the people who list on the site are generally entrepreneurial, their rules for renting are less stringent. In order to perform a search, start by following this link. Next, choose the locale in which you want to reside and click on the “housing” section on the top of the page. Include your rental range before reviewing the listings.
Reentry Programs in Washington
You can always refer to the reentry listings for Washington that are posted on our site. Also, reach out to us on Facebook about any job hunting or housing search concerns. We are an advocate on which you can rely.
The Washington Religious Community
The religious community in Washington State can also help you in your employment or housing search. If you are a member of a local church in Washington, inquire about job or housing leads from members of the congregation or your minister. You can also obtain information from social or faith-based community agencies.
Referrals From Friends and Family
Ask friends or family about job or housing openings as well. However, do not ask a friend or close family member to sign a rental contract on your behalf. You need to be listed on the lease as a tenant. Otherwise, you stand a good chance of being evicted or sued.
Additional Felon Housing Search Tips
Dress Professionally and Business-like
If you are searching for a job or apartment, you need to show that you mean business. Dress professionally so you can show you are serious about getting housing or a job. You can find appropriate attire by asking a family member or friend for a clothing donation or buying the clothing at a local thrift store of discount retailer.
Maintain a Business-like Demeanor
If you look professional, you also want to maintain a business-like demeanor. Make it your objective to maintain a professional rapport when searching for a job or an apartment home.
Maintain Contact with the Programs Featured on the Reentry Listings for Washington
Maintain contact with the programs that are featured for the reentry listings for Washington. Stay focused on obtaining a long-term job and permanent residence.
Follow a Schedule
Stick to a schedule as you look for a job and/or apartment. Doing so will help you establish and meet your planned activities and goals.