Finding housing for felons in Florida is difficult. Securing felon-friendly apartments anywhere isn’t exactly a walk in the park, but thanks to the huge influx of people into the Sunshine State in recent years, there’s a lot of pressure on Florida’s rental market.
Increased demand for rentals has pushed rents to new highs, while competition among renters means landlords are extra picky about credit scores, rental history, and criminal background checks.
Housing For Felons In Florida 2023 – What Are The Options?
Finding stable housing is vital for a successful reentry after a period of incarceration in Florida. But, can felons rent apartments in Florida? The following help is available:
- Reentry services help felons find transitional and long-term housing.
- Some second-chance apartment finders work with landlords willing to accept felons.
- Landlords advertising on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace often have flexible background screening policies.
- Felons meeting income limits can apply for public housing.
The strict screening criteria used by large apartment complexes often mean that felons will be rejected. Because application fees are high, always contact the rental office to find out about their criminal background policy before you apply.
Unlike more felon-friendly states, Florida doesn’t limit how far back criminal background searches can go. Old offenses can continue to cause housing issues for many years. If moving out of state is an option for you, give relocating some serious thought.
If you’re exploring apartments for felons in Florida for a loved one currently in prison, their prison counselor will be their best resource for transitional housing. Prison counselors also help inmates connect with prison ministries that focus on reentry services.
Finding Housing Programs For Felons In Florida
The first stop on your search for housing programs for felons in Florida is your local reentry service.
Reentry services focus on helping returning citizens get back on their feet. With up-to-date knowledge about felon-friendly landlords, reentry advisors will help you apply for housing that doesn’t automatically reject tenants with a criminal background.
To find reentry services in your area, search online for “reentry” followed by the name of your county or nearest city. You can also search for reentry resources on the Florida Department of Corrections website.
The website is easy to use. Just select “housing” as the service you require, then select your county and city. Hit the submit button to see the list of reentry providers in your area.
How To Find Apartments That Accept Felons In Orlando Fl
The best way to find apartments that accept felons in Orlando, Fl is by checking rental listings on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
You’ll find a wide range of properties to rent from independent landlords and flexible property management companies. From long-stay hotels and rooms in shared houses to apartments, houses, mobile homes, and sublets, there’s something for every budget.
Landlords won’t all be felon-friendly, so you’ll need to work your way through the listings and contact every rental in your price range. Check listings at least twice a day to catch new rentals and be the first to apply.
Will you need to pass a background check? Landlords may run a background check that only looks for credit score and eviction information, or they may run a full background check. Some landlords won’t run any checks at all.
When a landlord’s application process includes a background check, mention your felony and ask if you’re eligible for consideration.
To see rentals on Craigslist Orlando, visit: https://orlando.craigslist.org/
To access Facebook Marketplace, sign in to the Facebook app and select Marketplace from the menu.
If you’re prepared to move away from Orlando, follow the same process to look for apartments that accept felons in Tampa, FL (Tampa is slightly more affordable than Orlando).
Another resource that could help you find a felon-friendly apartment or house in Orlando is Offender Housing.
Offender Housing provides rental housing for sex offenders, but may still help if you’ve got another type of felony.
Visit their website or call for more details. If they can’t help you directly, they may refer you to another housing provider.
Phone: (407) 807-0733
Second Chance Apartment Finders Help You Find Felon-Friendly Housing
2nd chance apartment finders match renters with poor credit, prior evictions, and criminal records with suitable landlords.
Some apartment finders only deal with credit problems and evictions, but others work with criminal backgrounds as well. When you contact an apartment finder, ask if they work with felonies.
One apartment finder offering housing services to felons in Florida is Second Chance Apartments.
Visit their website at: https://secondchanceapartments.com/ and select your city. Enter your details on the contact form and a rental agent will get in touch.
You may need to agree to a background check so the apartment finder can match you with landlords willing to accept your felony. Some second chance landlords only accept non-violent felonies, for example, or felonies over 3, 5, or 7 years old.
Apply For Low Income Housing Right Away
Housing affordability is often a long-term problem for some returning citizens because of limited employment opportunities.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the federal agency responsible for funding low income housing in Florida.
Landlords in the HUD program provide affordable housing and accept tenants using Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8 vouchers).
If you’re eligible for low income housing in Florida, your rent won’t be more than 30% of your income.
Felons meeting the income limits are eligible to apply for low income housing programs. You should expect to undergo a background check, but background checks are fair and follow HUD guidelines.
The big problem you’ll encounter with low-income housing is the long waiting list (2 years is typical). The sooner you get your name on the waiting list, the better.
Find your local public housing authority at HUD’s website.
Housing programs for felons in Florida are accessed through reentry services. Some reentry services are only available pre-release, while others provide help as and when needed.
Other options for finding felon friendly apartments and houses include using a second-chance apartment finder and searching for independently owned rentals on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
Charles Greg is the Co-Founder, Author, & Head Developer behind RentingtoFelons.org
With a lifelong passion for humanity.