Public Housing Program for Felons

The public housing program for felons was created in 1950 to eliminate the housing shortage for convicted criminals.

Through the creation of the program, more convicts could receive housing, education, rehabilitation, and employment services.

At the time, the prison population was growing rapidly, and city officials were placing inmates in overcrowded jails. This delayed housing services for inmates who would otherwise have a place to live.

To alleviate the overcrowding, the government created the public housing system. The public housing program offered convicted felons living in jails the opportunity to receive housing services.

To qualify for housing, felons had to have been convicted of certain types of crimes, such as murder, manslaughter, and treason.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

There is a HUD program that helps felons to get houses. The HUD or United States Department of Housing and Urban Development provides housing assistance to the felons who are eligible for the program.

A felon is eligible for the HUD program if he’s been convicted of certain crimes that make him ineligible for public housing, such as selling drugs or sexual assault.

Felons who need housing assistance may qualify for Section 8 housing programs. Through the Section 8 program, a felon’s family pays part of their rent as they get housing assistance.

Based on the law, felons are not allowed to apply or receive housing assistance from the public housing program, but HUD provides help to felons who qualify.

Section 8 Offers Two Options

  1. Voucher

With the Section 8 voucher option, felons can choose where they want to live and can then get assistance in paying their rent. The voucher is usually given in the form of a debit card or check.

The voucher can only be used for housing expenses. For example, if a felon used the voucher to rent a two-bedroom home, the voucher would cover the portion of the rent that is not covered by the family’s income. The family will pay the rest of the rent from their private funds.

  1. Public Housing

With the public housing option felons will have limited choices in where they live. The government decides the areas in which the homes are and can choose to limit the number of felons that live there.

However, some states allow felons to request public housing. In exchange, the government requires felons to perform community service.

Applying for the Public Housing Program for Felons

To apply for the program, felons need to visit the public housing agency in their area. This is accomplished by calling the phone number and visiting the office to apply for a home.

Public Housing Agencies help felons by providing them information about other government assistance programs such as food stamps, medical assistance, and job training. Public Housing Agencies assist felons in obtaining their vouchers through the Section 8 program.

Once the voucher is processed, the felony tenant is required to contact the landlord, pay the rent on time and to sign a contract committing the tenant to the terms of the contract.


Public Housing Agencies are an important step forward for felons hoping to obtain housing after being released.

These programs assist the felons by providing them the support they need to get back on their feet and start rebuilding their lives. One thing to remember is that this program requires felons to follow strict guidelines so they can maintain their housing in the future.

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