Finding housing for felons in North Carolina 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 North Carolina, 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 North Carolina that will help you in your pursuit of felon friendly housing.
Felon Friendly Apartments in North Carolina
Getting out of prison can be quite an adjustment, especially if you have been a resident of a correctional facility for quite some time. As a result, it is imperative that you avail yourself with as much reentry information as you can. We, at the Jobs for Felons Hubs site can help by supplying our compilation of reentry listings for North Carolina.
We offer plenty in the way of program listings to help you get back on your feet and gain a footing in the mainstream. Reference the listings so you can find a permanent place to live or the job training you need. The listings also showcase transitional listings, some of which provide substance abuse counseling and services.
Making Your Reentry Plans
You simply cannot start looking for housing without some kind of plan. Therefore, you need to be organized and write down what you need to do by creating several checklists. For instance, some of the activities might include the following:
· Schedule an appointment to obtain temporary housing
· Call a HUD agency, if applicable, to discuss permanent housing needs
· Check on programs that offer training and educational skills for specific occupations
· Make an appointment with a health agency or the One-Stop to see about applying for and receiving food stamps
· Shop for and buy professional attire
· Reserve a time to talk to a substance abuse counselor
Transitional Housing in North Carolina
You can make a search for transitional housing easier by clicking on the link for North Carolina at TransitionalHousing.org. Most of the listings are for people who have had substance abuse issues. Therefore, if you have had this sort of problem in the past, you can settle into one of these residences to obtain the counseling you need.
The website is home to over 5,500 transitional residences, many of which emphasize drug and alcohol rehabilitation. You can sign up for a residency for two weeks to two years, depending on the program and your individual housing needs.
Other North Carolina Housing Resources
Besides referring to the reentry listings on our site, you can also contact the state’s US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for information on subsidized housing. Local housing agencies in North Carolina, as well as HUD, work together to assist felons find affordable and habitable housing. The rental subsidy is calculated using the applicant’s income and comparing it to an area’s annual median income or AMI.
If you need to find permanent housing then, HUD or a local housing agency, is the best place to begin your search. If your felony arrest involved the making and selling of methamphetamine or a sexual offense, you will need to refer your housing inquiries to another agency (your DOC’s reentry program or a similar reentry plan). HUD will not work with people who were involved in the trafficking of methamphetamine or were charged with a sexual crime.
You can also reference Craigslist for housing leads as well as family and friends. Area churches and faith-based organizations are also sources for leads.
Don’t Begin Your Housing Search in a Large Apartment Community
Don’t apply to a large apartment community when searching for an apartment if you want to find a permanent residence. The community will turn you down because of your felony record. While applications often ask about your criminal background and allow you to explain the charges, they normally turn down felons for liability reasons.
Obtain Your Criminal History
Before you contact reentry programs or search for housing or jobs online, you need to obtain a criminal history on yourself. Use the information to explain your situation or as support information when negotiating a lease. A background search only takes a couple minutes and is minimal in cost. You can read more about the process and obtain a history by following this link.
Why Felons Are Turned Down for an Apartment in North Carolina and the US
Felons in North Carolina and other parts of the US are regularly turned down for housing. This is because no statutes exist on the books that present this from happening. Legally, a landlord can turn down felon applicants if he or she feels the applicant my pose a threat to their community.
According to the US Fair Housing Act, a housing denial is only legal when a person is turned down because they are a part of a protected classification. This classification covers people who are treated with prejudice because of their national origin, ethnicity, religion, disability, sex, familial status or race. In some states, age and gender are included as protected classes too.
Property managers in North Carolina and elsewhere in the US can only deny rental housing if an applicant’s past non-payment of rent or eviction history causes him or her to be a poor risk financially.
Usually, discrimination only turns into an illegal practice when a property owner refuses to rent an apartment based on an applicant’s ethnicity, national origin, race, disability, sex, family status or religion. It is also illegal to deny housing based on age or gender in some jurisdictions. The site, NOLO online, further details illegal discrimination. In addition, the site covers legal responsibilities of landlords in North Carolina. Landlords must follow these obligations, lest they be sued themselves for illegal discrimination or inequitable treatment.
According to the site, landlords in North Carolina must do the following:
· Comply with anti-discrimination laws
· Follow state rent rules
· Meet state security deposit limits
· Provide habitable housing
· Prepare a written lease or rental agreement
· Make lead-based paint disclosures
· Follow the process for terminating a tenancy
· Take advantage of legal resources for landlords
As you can see, landlords must be aware of any of the above-listed guidelines to operate within the law.
The Housing Law in North Carolina
Housing discrimination that is illegal refers to a property owner’s bias towards an applicant. If he or she bases their rental decision on fact, or an applicant’s rental history, then discriminating is done for business purposes only. Otherwise, personal preference is considered illegal and does not take a precedent when an applicant rents.
Arbitrary discrimination can be illegal if a landlord rents an apartment to one felon but turns down another felon. All applicants must be treated the same. Therefore, arbitrary discrimination can get a property owner into legal trouble if they are not careful. You can learn more about arbitrary discrimination by clicking on and following this link.
North Carolina Housing Authority
North Carolina’s housing authorities are located throughout the state, each working in collaboration with HUD in North Carolina. Again, if you have just been released from prison, make an appointment with HUD or a HUD-affiliated housing authority to obtain subsidized housing. If no move-in ready apartments are available, sign up on the agency’s waiting list.
Once more, if your conviction is related to a sex offense or the making and selling of methamphetamine, you cannot work with HUD. HUD will not help felons find housing with these past convictions. Instead, refer to the reentry listings for North Carolina or talk to a counselor in North Carolina’s DOC.
North Carolina Apartment Listings on Craigslist
Another worthwhile resource, Craigslist is a good site to reference to obtain permanent housing. Most of the property managers or real estate investors on the site will negotiate with potential tenants. In order to begin your review of the listings on the Craigslist site, begin your search by clicking on this link. After clicking on the link, click on the city or town where you wish to live. Then, select the “housing” tab at the top of the page. Insert the rental range in order to short-list the selections.
Reentry Programs in North Carolina
Begin your housing and job search by looking at the reentry listings for North Carolina that were developed by our site. Refer to the data often so you can find transitional housing and employment while you try to secure a permanent residence.
The North Carolina Religious Community
The religious community in North Carolina can also apprise you of housing or job opportunities. Contact faith-based agencies and churches to obtain information along these lines. You can also obtain the information by working as a volunteer in a community-based organization.
Referrals From Friends and Family
Referrals from friends and family can also help you in an apartment search. However, don’t ask them to sign a rental agreement on your behalf. If your name is not on the lease and you are occupying an apartment, you could get evicted and/or sued.
Additional Felon Housing Search Tips
Show your commitment toward obtaining a residence by dressing professionally. Wearing business-like clothes will garner respect from those you meet.
Establish Business-like Communications
When talking to landlords or property managers, establish and maintain a professional demeanor. Let them know that you are serious about finding a permanent home. Your goal is to establish trust and credibility.
Review and Contact Reentry Programs
Always look over the reentry listings for North Carolina to stay informed and motivated during your housing and job search. Keep in contact with agencies to access leads and to demonstrate your commitment.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Having a positive attitude will help you maintain a daily schedule and stay on top of your housing and job search activities. Stay focused on your searches using this approach and you will succeed in getting the employment you need and the housing you want.