Finding housing for felons in North Dakota 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 Dakota, 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 Dakota that will help you in your pursuit of felon friendly housing.
Housing for Felons in North Dakota: What To Expect?
The reason why it’s challenging to find housing for felons in North Dakota is many housing North Dakota agencies or landlords are not inclined towards having former convicts as tenants. Nonetheless, it is one of the first steps to reintegrating yourself into society and its workings.
Many ex-offenders have previously commented on the discriminating behaviors and attitudes of employees and landlords. While it can be intimidating at first, you can find a good place to stay with the right resources and agencies.
Importance of Finding Felon-Friendly Housing North Dakota
One of the best ways for an ex-convict to reintegrate into society is by finding affordable housing. That is because housing provides one with the essential grounding necessary for starting your life over.
Here are some reasons why finding housing for felons in North Dakota is essential:
- Stable Beginnings
Finding affordable housing North Dakota is a sign of stable beginnings. It is a great way to restart building your life over again. One of the most debilitating parts of an ex-convict’s life is not having a stable place to call home.
- Stay Off the Streets
One of the most important reasons for felons to find stable housing is that it helps them stay off the streets. That means they will stay away from unlawful activities that got them locked up in the first place.
Many reintegration experts believe that providing felons with housing right after their sentence is complete will help prevent further discord with the law. Additionally, it will prevent them from a sense of hopelessness which is one of the primary reasons for felonies.
- Sense of Security
Having a place to call home is a basic human need. As an ex-offender, you will find a sense of security with a decent place to call home. You will find that by fulfilling the basic need for shelter, your journey towards wellbeing will begin. Therefore, having a stable home can prevent not only physical discomforts but also psychological distress.
Obstacles to Overcome
As an ex-convict, there are many obstacles you have to overcome after completing your sentence. For starters, there are limited options for housing available for convicts, and funding from government agencies is dependent on your category of a felony.
Additionally, you will face stigma from society, landlords, and housing agencies which may discourage you from searching for felon-friendly housing.
Felon Friendly Apartments in North Dakota
If you have just gotten out of prison or are planning to re-enter society in the near future, you need to find programs that will assist you in getting housing and a job. We, at the Jobs for Felons Hub site, can assist you in your goals by sharing our compiled reentry listings for North Dakota.
The listings provided for North Dakota can help you in your quest to find permanent housing and job training as well. The listings also feature programs that provide transitional residences that offer substance abuse help and counseling. You can obtain information about transitional housing for North Dakota by following this link.
North Dakota has a scarcity of housing. Therefore, if you are carrying baggage with you that is associated with a felony, you need to make sure that you take full advantage of transitional housing and job and training leads. Begin with the links above to keep your search and reentry efforts positive and on course.Making Plans for Reentry into North Dakota
A lack or organization can make it difficult to schedule appointments or gain reentry into the mainstream. Therefore, your transition into society must be managed in a way to streamline your efforts and your search. For example, write down those activities you need to perform for reintegration. The activities might include the following:
· Review your transitional housing options. Check out the information for North Dakota on the link that leads to TransitionalHousing.org.
· Call a HUD agency, if applicable, to discuss your needs to permanent housing.
· Check on programs that offer training for specific jobs.
· Make an appointment with a local health agency or click on the TransitionalHousing.org site to inquire about food stamps.
· Shop for and buy professional clothes. Stop at a local thrift store or discount retailer to make your selections.
· If you have substance abuse issues, schedule an appointment with a counselor.
Transitional Housing in North Dakota
Again, you can make a search for temporary housing simpler by clicking on the link for North Dakota at TransitionalHousing.org. Many of the listings on the site feature residences that offer substance abuse help. Therefore, if you have had this type of issue when you first entered prison, you can sign up to live in one of these residences to obtain the help you need. The site also offers information that helps you obtain food stamps, medical/dental assistance, unemployment benefits, or help for children and single mothers.
Other North Dakota Housing Resources
Besides referencing the above reentry listings, you can also contact North Dakota’s US Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD. HUD works with local housing authorities to help felons and others obtain subsidized housing. The rental program uses an area’s annual median income (AMI) as a basis for discounting a felon’s apartment rent. In some cases, you can obtain a voucher for free housing, depending on your income resources.
If you are looking for a permanent residence, then HUD or your city’s local housing authority is the best place to look for a place to live. If your felony was associated with a sexual offense or the making and/or selling of methamphetamine, then you will have to check with the reentry program offered through the Department of Corrections or DOC. HUD will not work with felons with drug charges or who were charged with a sexual offense.
You can also obtain job search and housing assistance through Craigslist, faith-based organizations or area churches. Some rental applications will ask you if you have a criminal record, or a history that contains a felony or misdemeanor. The form may ask you to explain why the crime was committed. Therefore, it helps to reply succinctly and professionally.
You might state, for instance, that you followed all the requirements of your sentencing and have successfully made restitution. Add that you hope the property manager considers your need for housing and that you have learned your lesson and have met the state’s requirements for paying for your crime. Most smaller communities or real estate entrepreneurs are more lenient in this regard.
Don’t Search for an Apartment in a Large Apartment Community
Stick to reentry listings and ask for housing leads through these means as well as referring to Craigslist. Don’t start your search in North Dakota by looking for an apartment at a large rental community. The community will deny your application if you have a felony. Large property companies regularly turn down felons as they pose a risk with respect to liability.
Get Your Own Criminal History
To be well-prepared in your housing search, obtain your “rap sheet” or criminal history online. A criminal history check takes only several minutes and the fee is minimal. Access your history by following this link. Obtaining the information will help you better communicate to landlords and find transitional housing or job training.
Why Felons Are Refused Housing in North Dakota and the US
Felons are regularly turned down for rentals in North Dakota and the US, primarily because the law does not discourage the practice. Legally, a property manager can refuse housing to a felon if he or she believes the housing candidate may be a liability.
Landlords must make sure that they are following the guidelines of the US Fair Housing Act, which states that housing denials are illegal if they are based on a person’s national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, religion, race or family status. Some places in the US also include age or gender to the aforementioned listing.
North Dakota property managers may only refuse a rental to applicants whose history includes evictions, non-payments of rent or a low credit score. In fact, some felons, because their crime was non-violent, are actually able secure housing. However, they typically have to go through HUD or their local housing authority to be successful.
To understand why you may be turned down, it is helpful to look at the decision-making process of the landlord. You can read more about landlord rights by accessing this link. This reference reviews the tenant and landlord laws in North Dakota.
Again, property managers in North Dakota or anywhere else in the US can refuse you housing if your past reveals non-payment of rent or a series of evictions. A low credit score can also be used to refuse an application. All these forms of discrimination suggest that an applicant is a poor financial risk.
Typically, discrimination becomes illegal when a property owner will not rent an apartment to an applicant because of their national origin, ethnicity, race, disability, sex, religion or family status. Decisions based on gender or age can be illegal too. The Fair Housing Act indicates that you must treat all housing applicants alike. Otherwise, a landlord can be sued for illegal discrimination. You can read more about illegal discrimination by clicking on NOLO online.
Landlords are legally responsible for complying with housing antidiscrimination laws, following the rent rules mandated by the state, providing habitable housing, and preparing a written rental agreement. They also must know how to follow the steps for terminating a tenant.
The Housing Law in North Dakota
Housing discrimination that is considered illegal is defined by a property owner’s prejudice toward an applicant. If they base their rental decision on an applicant’s leasing history or credit score, then the discrimination is not considered illegal. Otherwise, a personal bias is deemed to be against the law.
Arbitrary discrimination can turn into illegal discrimination if a landlord rents an apartment to a felon but does not lease an apartment in the same complex to another individual with a felony history. All the applicants must be treated the same for discrimination to be considered fair. Otherwise a landlord might have to defend themself in court. You can read more about the practice of arbitrary discrimination by following this link.
North Dakota Housing Authority
The North Dakota Housing Financing Agency is an entity that helps people receive rental assistance, including seniors and people with disabilities. Along with HUD in North Dakota and area housing authorities, all rental assistance programs enable low-income individuals to obtain affordable and habitable housing. Again, it is imperative that you make an appointment to check on subsidized rentals in your area. North Dakota’s housing is scarce. Therefore, you need to make a concerted effort to collaborate with a governmental agency to support your housing needs.
Once more, if your felony is a sex offense or involves the manufacture and sale of methamphetamine, you will need to request assistance from your DOC reentry advisors.
North Dakota Apartment Listings on Craigslist
Craigslist is a viable alternative for seeking housing too. Most property managers on the site are independent and therefore are more willing to work with an individual with a felony. In order to review the Craigslist site for North Dakota, begin by following this link. Click on the “housing” section at the top, then insert the rental range you are willing to spend.
Reentry Programs in North Dakota
Start your job and housing search by reviewing the reentry listings for North Dakota. Use the information frequently so you can find a job and/or transitional place to live while you work at locating a permanent residence.
The North Dakota Religious Community
You can also obtain job and housing leads through your local churches. If you are a member of an area church, check with the pastor about any job or housing resources. You can also obtain leads by volunteering at a community-based organization.
Referrals From Friends and Family
Obtaining referrals from close friends or your family can also help you in your housing search. However, don’t take advantage of their assistance by asking them to sign a rental agreement on your behalf. Your name should be listed as an occupant on the lease. Otherwise, you can get sued or evicted.
Additional Felon Housing Search Tips
Look and Act Professionally
You won’t be taken seriously unless you dress professionally. After all, it is rather difficult to consider a person a liability who is well-attired and speaks respectfully and professionally. Wearing professional attire is necessary for reentry. Obtain your clothing at a local thrift store or discount store.
Establish Professional Communications
You should also communicate in a professional manner. When you speak and dress professionally, you have reached a plateau that will enable you to move forward into the mainstream
Review the Reentry Listings for North Dakota
Again, review the reentry listings for North Dakota to stay up-to-date with respect to gaining employment and an apartment. Keeping in contact with certain agencies will enable you to establish contacts that can assist you in your transition with much less difficulty.
A positive attitude will take you a long way in your quest for a property. Stay focused on your commitment to obtain permanent housing and you will eventually see that your efforts are rewarded.