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How To Find Cheap Housing For Felons

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

If you have been convicted of a felony, you will find it difficult and troublesome to survive when you are released from prison. You lose your social life once you are incarcerated for a felony. An ex-felon is generally viewed with skepticism by most people. 

It is for this reason that felons do not have a chance to work or live like normal citizens. The chances of a felon getting a good job or developing a career after he is released from prison are greatly reduced. In particular, people with criminal records may have difficulty finding adequate housing. 

Landlords are more reluctant to rent to an individual with a misdemeanor or felony conviction on their record due to the fear that they may slip back into their old ways. There are still apartments near you that are felony-friendly, although they may be difficult to find. 

Searching for landlords who are likely to work with you is made much easier if you know where to look. If you are a single mom looking to improve your financial and living situation, check our article on hardship grants for single mothers.

Options for Housing for Felons

Here are some ways you can find housing for felons if you're frustrated with your housing search. Although each tip offers additional information, you should start by talking to people who work with housing authorities, reentry programs, probation officers, and rooming houses if you're looking for housing for people with a felony or misdemeanor conviction in your city.


For those with felony records, Craigslist is a great place to look for an apartment. A majority of Craigslist's landlords will work with felons, which makes them more convenient than property management companies. Apartment complexes require a background check more often than landlords who list their properties on Craigslist. 

Offering a higher deposit or signing a longer lease can often result in a lower rental rate. For those looking for apartments with felony records, Craigslist housing might be a good place to start.

2nd Chance Locators

Having a criminal record makes apartment hunting increasingly difficult. A felony on a tenant's record may cause a landlord to refuse to rent to them. People with criminal records can, however, find apartments that are felony-friendly using resources available online. 

People with criminal records can find housing through second-chance apartment finders. Typically, they charge three times the rent (or more) and work with landlords to find you a suitable apartment.

Pay A Larger Deposit

You might be able to secure a place to live despite your criminal record if you're having trouble renting an apartment. Rather than paying the usual deposit, you can offer to pay a larger amount. It may be possible for a landlord to overlook your criminal record if you offer to pay two or three times the rent as a security deposit. 

There is no guarantee that this approach will work all the time, but it is worth a try if you are unable to find accommodation where the landlords are amenable to renting out their property to ex-felons.

Buy Your Own House

No matter what your criminal record is, you can always purchase a house of your own. Your ability to repay a loan is the only thing that lenders are concerned with. As a result, when you purchase a home, you are not subject to a criminal background check. In considering a home purchase, three factors are important:

  • Being able to pay a down payment evenly.
  • A credit score that meets the minimum requirements.
  • Mortgage pre-approval is also important.

Discuss your options with a real estate agent or lender if you are concerned about buying a house if you have a felony.

ReEntry Programs

Housing information and resources are provided by reentry programs for people coming out of prison or jail. For those seeking to reenter society after being incarcerated, reentry programs often have connections with felony-friendly apartments.

Most reentry programs are operated by health department staff, non-profit organizations, or county jails. It is important to take advantage of reentry programs that guide and support ex-felons during their time of need. Reach out to a reentry program for help with housing and other resources if you or someone you know have just come out of jail or prison.

Transitional Housing

For felons looking for a place to stay, transitional housing is a great option. People who need transitional housing do so in order to move from one stage to another in their lives. Transitioning from prison to a community or moving from homelessness to a stable housing situation can be helped by this program. A transitional housing program provides supportive housing that can help prevent homelessness. 

There is usually a limited duration for transitional housing. There are a variety of durations for stays, ranging from a couple of weeks up to 24 months. Homeless, substance-abusing, or violent people can benefit from transitional housing after experiencing a crisis. 

Support services and counseling can also be provided by transitional housing. Look up transitional housing near you by typing "transitional housing + your city" into Google. You can also search for sober housing on the Transitional Housing website.

Homeless Shelters

People convicted of felonies often turn to homeless shelters as a lifeline. Additionally, they can help you find permanent housing by connecting you with local housing programs. This will allow you to get back on your feet while you gain stability.

Homeless shelter residents are at the top of the priority list of candidates for housing programs, so if you're living in a shelter, your chances of finding housing are already good. A homeless shelter may offer you job training, financial counseling, and other assistance programs. 

If you have been convicted of a felony, homeless shelters may be able to assist you in getting back on your feet. If you would like to locate a shelter near you, you can visit the Homeless Shelter Directory. You may also want to explore homeless shelters offered by charities such as the Salvation Army and United Way.

Get Help From Your Probation Officer

Your probation officer may be able to assist you if you're on probation and having trouble finding housing. People with felonies on their records can find rental housing through probation officers' connections to landlords. 

In addition to providing resources and advice on finding housing, probation officers can assist you in finding accommodations that meet your needs. Be sure to speak with your probation officer about your options if you cannot find appropriate housing for felons.

Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers

It is possible to receive a Section 8 voucher despite having a criminal record. The number of vouchers you receive will depend on your criminal history, which is taken into consideration when determining your eligibility. Landlords who are open to renting their properties to ex-felons don't usually advertise this fact, so it is prudent to ask around and see which landlords accept Section 8 vouchers from ex-felons.

The older your conviction and incarceration, the more chance you have at qualifying for a Section 8 voucher. If you were convicted during the last year, chances are that you might not receive a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher. A good way to find felony-friendly apartments is to speak with local housing authorities. Finding the right apartment should be easy if you do your research properly.

If you are successful in obtaining a Section 8 voucher, check out our guide how to find landlords that accept housing vouchers in 2023.

Jobs That Require You To Live Onsite

Some jobs allow you to live on-site, so if you're looking for that kind of job, here are some options. You can save on rent or travel expenses by living on-site at storage facilities, lumber yards, farms, and resorts. 

Aside from this, employees who are required to be on call 24/7, such as security officers, often have accommodation on site to ensure they can respond to emergency situations quickly. Check out websites like Indeed if you're looking for jobs that offer on-site housing.

Housing options for felons vary from city to city, and there are many different options. You may be able to find housing through a second chance apartment finder, talk to your probation officer, find rooming houses, or buy your own house if your budget allows. 

We've listed several options for finding housing that accepts those with criminal records in this article, so there are plenty of options. You can likely find a solution to your problem, no matter what your situation is. 

Ask your family or friends for help if you need it, and keep looking until you find something that feels right. It should be possible for you to find a housing arrangement that meets your needs and feels safe with a little bit of effort.

Visit the rest of the Gov-Relations to read articles about government and private financial assistance. If you were unable to finish school and want to resume your studies, check out our guide on eight education grants for adults returning to school.

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.

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