Is it possible for a felon to live with someone receiving Section 8 benefits? Can a felon live with someone on Section 8? Can a parolee live with someone on Section 8?
Being a felon will undoubtedly make life much more difficult. When someone is newly released from prison, they may not have many options in terms of permanent residence.
If they’re lucky, a loved one will allow them to sleep on the couch or use the spare bedroom. Otherwise, having a criminal record means it’ll be much harder to find a suitable rental.
Some felons will think about Section 8 and whether the governmental program will work for them.
Before moving into a Section 8 dwelling, it is pertinent to learn more about the program’s regulations. Read the guide below to learn more about Section 8 housing and whether it is open to felons.
About Section 8
First, it would be wise to learn more about Section 8 housing. What is it and who can sign up for the program?
Section 8 is the term used to describe the housing choice voucher program operated by the federal government.
In general, the program is designed to assist the disabled, the elderly, and low-income families pay for rentals in their respective areas.
Participants of the program will receive a voucher that will greatly reduce the rent they’ll pay each month.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development funds and oversees this program, but the vouchers are distributed by local public housing agencies.
Therefore, the rules may vary depending on the applicant’s location. Usually, eligibility is based on the size of the family as well as its annual gross income.
The applicant’s gross annual income cannot surpass 50% of the area’s median income. Otherwise, they will not qualify.
In addition to this, the law specifies that 30% of all vouchers must be given to families with incomes below 30% of the local median income.
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How Does Section 8 Housing Work?
In the United States, Section 8 housing is vital for many residents. The program is designed to help the elderly, the disabled, and low-income families.
Individuals receiving vouchers will still need to pay a portion of their utilities and rent. They will pay 30% of the family’s adjusted gross income for utilities and rent each month. The voucher will pay the remaining 70% of the costs to the landlord.
Suffice it to say, having 70% of your rental costs covered by the government each month can be astronomical for poor families.
Felons often have difficulty obtaining excellent jobs when leaving prison so they often live in poverty for many months or years. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that felons are automatically eligible. More about this will be provided below.
Can A Felon Live With Someone On Section 8?
Can Someone With A Section 8 Voucher Live With A Felon?
Individuals receiving Section 8 vouchers should do everything possible to obey the program’s rules. Otherwise, they may get kicked out and they could lose their eligibility status.
Can someone receiving a voucher allow a felon to live with them? The good news is that a felon can live with a Section 8 voucher holder.
However, certain rules must be followed when doing so. In particular, there may be rules regarding who can be added to your lease.
Usually, you will only be able to add an immediate family member to your lease. This could be your child, parent, or spouse. In some cases, you can also add a non-immediate family member to your lease.
Since you’re dealing with a felon, the process will be much harder. After all, the landlord is going to scrutinize the felon a lot more.
Just remember that HUD regulations make it clear that landlords are not allowed to deny Section 8 rentals to applicants based only on their criminal history.
Therefore, a felony conviction technically shouldn’t stop you from losing the opportunity. If the felon manages to move into the residence, it is pertinent to avoid committing more crimes.
If the family is caught doing anything illegal in the rental, they could be evicted. Furthermore, they may lose their right to the Section 8 program.
What Are The Requirements For Section 8 Housing?
Can a parolee live with someone on Section 8? They probably can as long as the family meets the requirements.
Applicants will find that certain requirements must be met before they can receive a Section 8 housing voucher.
For instance, eligibility requirements will depend on the family’s income, citizenship status, rental history, and more. These requirements will be explored in more depth below.
The family’s income will help determine whether they’re eligible for Section 8 housing. The limit is usually 50% of the median income in your respective area. However, being under 30% will usually make it easier to qualify for assistance.
In general, applicants should be legal citizens of the United States. People with immigration status may also qualify for Section 8 housing.
The landlord will determine who gets access to the rental property. When deciding, they will background check each applicant.
Since it is up to the landlord, there is a risk that a criminal history will prevent the family from renting the property in question.
History Of Renting
To ensure that you qualify for Section 8 housing, you need to have a clear rental history. Individuals who don’t pay their rent on time are going to have more difficulty getting Section 8 benefits. Furthermore, the program may not be suitable for people with past evictions.
Other Things To Consider
Administrators and landlords will consider other things to determine who will receive assistance first. In general, it is easier for disabled applicants to get assistance first. The size of the family will also be considered.
Moving In With Someone On Section 8
It is possible for felons to move in with people receiving Section 8 benefits. Nevertheless, this can be a tricky situation so it is vital to fully understand the potential issues involved.
Before a family will be approved, each member is going to be background checked. If a felon is a member of the family, this may make it harder for the family to receive approval.
The family’s income will also be considered. Adding another member to the family will increase the family’s income and that could make it harder to get approved.
Unfortunately, there is a risk that the felon has more than a criminal history. They may also have a habit of being evicted or not paying their rent on time.
These things will be analyzed when the family applies for assistance. The landlord may decide that the felon’s bad rental history makes the family too high of a risk. Sadly, this could mean that your family is no longer eligible for the rental in question.
While felons can benefit from Section 8 housing, there are cons involved. The family must study the potential risks to determine whether this is a good option for them. Felons can always work with someone from the local housing authority because this will make the process much easier.
When it comes to Section 8 housing, it is vital to understand that the landlord and property manager matter. They’re responsible for managing the property so they’ll decide who gets to rent the apartment.
Before doing so, they will carefully research each applicant. Obviously, having a felon in the family could create issues for the family in question.
The landlord must make sure that the community is a safe place for everyone so bringing in a felon might not be a good idea.
Instead, they may decide that it is best to rent to a family without a felon. Just remember that applicants are protected by the Fair Housing Act.
As a result, the landlord is not able to deny a rental to the applicant solely based on their criminal history. Still, landlords play an important role in the Section 8 program.
Rental Assistance For Felons
Although felons may not have success through the Section 8 program, they will have other options at their disposal. Instead, they can try legal aid, reentry programs, and assistance from local housing authorities.
Can Any Felony Conviction Prevent You From Accessing Section 8 Housing?
Unfortunately, some felony convictions could disqualify you from receiving Section 8 benefits. For instance, being convicted of drug-related crimes, violent crimes, sex crimes, fraud, or property crimes may make it impossible to get Section 8 benefits.
Each program has unique benefits so the rules will vary from area to area. Speak to someone at your local office to find out more about the requirements in your area.
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Charles Greg is the Co-Founder, Author, & Head Developer behind RentingtoFelons.org
With a lifelong passion for humanity.