Finding housing for felons in Ohio 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 Ohio, 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 Ohio that will help you in your pursuit of felon friendly housing.
If you think that finding a job is hard for ex-cons, wait until you try to look for felony friendly apartments. Reestablishing your place in the community after serving time is one of the biggest obstacles you need to conquer. So, what should you do? How and where can you find a place to stay?
How To Find Felony Friendly Apartments in Ohio
Similar to applying for a job, landlords or rental companies can also request a background check on potential tenants. Sadly, they have all the right to reject your rental application.
Here are a few tips for you to succeed in finding felony friendly apartments in Ohio.
1. Look in Low-Income Towns
Less popular towns are usually far from the city center, which is why these locations often offer cheaper rents and have lower demands. Also, landlords in these distant areas are more flexible and easier to deal with because there is no third party involved.
The only downside here is the distance. You either allow extra time for the commute or buy a cheap car as a service.
2. Search for Duplex or Single-Family Homes
There’s a chance that you will find these types of rental units managed by an individual landlord, which will make negotiations easier. Ohio has plenty of duplex and single-family homes available for cheap. The key is finding one that accepts renters with a criminal record.
3. Try Basement or Single Room Rentals
Compared to duplexes and single-family homes, there is a much lower demand for basement or single room rentals in Ohio. As such, you will have better chances of closing a deal.
4. Avoid Large Apartment Complex
Don’t waste your time checking on rentals listed on big apartment complexes and buildings. Rental firms usually manage these types of rentals. It means they will run a background and credit check and may reject your application.
5. Read the Listing Carefully
Look for the fine prints in the listings to avoid wasting your time filling up forms and talking with the agents. Make sure there’s no mention of them not accepting individuals with a criminal past.
Common Things Landlords Want
You have to know the landlord’s mindset before deciding to set a meeting and discuss rental proceedings. Take note of the following things that matter most to all landlords.
Naturally, the landlord’s first concern is the rental payments. He would want to know the tenant’s source of income. Aside from that, he would expect the tenant to maintain and take care of his property.
Finally, he expects his tenants to stay away from trouble. If you can assure your landlord that you will meet all of these things and more, then you’ll have better chances of finding an apartment.
Felon Friendly Apartments in Ohio
You have reached an important part in your life if you are being released from prison. That is why we, at the Jobs for Felons Hub, have compiled a list of reentry programs on our site that will help you in your quest to find a job and housing. Click on the following link to review the reentry listings for Ohio.
It is essential to obtain job training and shelter as these two pursuits can help you better reintegrate yourself into mainstream society. These listings also feature programs and residences that help felons with substance abuse issues. Transitional housing resources that offer this kind of assistance can be obtained by clicking on this link. Also, we have been given a list specifically for Ohio housing info. You can get this list for free by clicking here.
Making Plans for Reentry into Ohio
You can quickly become demotivated if you don’t plan and organize yourself when performing a job or housing search. To make the process go more smoothly, write down the activities you need to do in order to become reintegrated. Some of the suggested activities might include:
· Reviewing transitional housing alternatives.
· Call the local HUD agency and set an appointment for permanent housing.
· Contact programs that offer job training.
· Inquire about food stamps – either contact your local health agency or click on the TransitionalHousing.org website to get the needed help.
· Shop and buy professional attire. Drop in at the local thrift store and make a selection.
· Schedule an appointment with a counselor if you have substance abuse problems.
Transitional Housing in Ohio
You can streamline your search for transitional housing by clicking on the site, TransitionalHousing.org. The site features thousands of residences that offer temporary housing for felons and others in need. Many of the shelters offer assistance to people with substance abuse issues. You can sign up for a stay for two weeks to two years, depending on the residence and its program offerings.
Other Ohio Housing Resources
Nothing Into Something Real Estate Incorporated: This company reached out to us specifically and requested to be included on our website. Their corporate office is located at 1561 Old Leonard Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43219. They provide housing in 5 cities within Ohio: Akron, Columbus, Cincinnati, Mansfield & Chillicothe. They currently take referrals from Adult Parole Authority and County Probation. When a referral is made by a state or county agency, housing payment is generally funded by the state. We do also offer self-pay, shared-living recovery housing for women and men and the daily rate is $15/day with a minimum payment of $450 (for the month) at intake. The aforementioned housing options all have curfew monitoring and the curfew is 10 pm every night. Our office hours in Cincinnati are 10 am to 4 pm. Please contact them at 513-349-6387 for additional information.
Besides contacting the above resources, you can also make an appointment at a local housing authority or go through the state’s US Department of Housing and Urban Development office, also known as HUD. HUD has been established to work in collaboration with local housing agencies to assist felons and others in need to obtain subsidized housing.
The apartment rental program takes the annual median income or AMI and contrasts it with an applicant’s total income or means of support. In some instances, you can get your housing for free if your income is non-existent or extremely low.
However, you need to seek help elsewhere if your felony is connected with a methamphetamine charge or a sexual offense. HUD will not work with felons with these kinds of records. In these cases, you need to go through the Department of Corrections reentry program in your state and inquire about housing.
It is also possible to obtain housing through the Craigslist site or through local churches. Faith-based organizations or social agencies can also be contacted for housing and job leads.
Don’t Search for an Apartment in a Big Apartment Complex
Unfortunately, you will waste your time if you try to find an apartment or place to live in a major apartment complex. Most, if not all, felons are denied housing at these kinds of properties. Because the communities are run by large property management companies, it can be hard to get your foot in the door.
Obtain Your Own Criminal History
You should start your housing search by obtaining your own criminal history online. A criminal history check can be processed in just a few minutes at a minimal charge. To receive the information, all you need to do is follow this link. Once you receive the data, you can better discuss your situation to property managers and make arrangements for transitional housing.
Why Felons Are Denied Housing in Ohio and the US
Felons are normally denied housing in Ohio and the remainder of the US because the law discourages landlords from renting to felons. Legally, a property manager can deny housing to a felon if they believe that he or she poses a risk or is a potential lability.
According to the US Fair Housing Act, denying housing is illegal if the decision is based on the applicant’s ethnicity, race, disability, sex, religion, family status or national origin. In some cases, age and gender are considered illegally discriminatory as well. This listing is part of the federally protected class of people who can sue a landlord for denying them housing out of prejudice.
However, Ohio property managers can refuse to rent to applicants whose rental history includes non-payment of rent, evictions or a low credit rating. In fact, some felons, because their felony was non-violent, can secure housing. However, in this case, you usually have to go through your local housing authority or HUD in order to succeed.
Therefore, discrimination becomes an illegal act when a property owner refuses to rent an apartment to a rental applicant because of their ethnicity, disability, race, national origin, family status or religion. The Housing Act further stipulates that all applicants must be treated alike – that includes felons too. If all felons are turned down for housing in a community, then the property manager is in their right to make this kind of decision. As long as the reason for the felony does not extend to a protected class, the landlord can refuse an application. You can obtain further information about illegal discrimination by visiting NOLO online.
The Housing Law in Ohio
Landlords are responsible for following the anti-discrimination laws, following rental rules, and providing habitable housing to tenants. They are also required to prepare a written lease agreement and must know what needs to be done in order to evict a tenant.
When housing discrimination is considered against the law, it is preceded by a property owner’s own bias toward a rental applicant. They must base their decision on an applicant’s prior rental history or credit score to stay in bounds legally.
Arbitrary discrimination can become synonymous with illegal discrimination if a property owner rents an apartment to one felon in a complex but turns another felon down. All the applicants in a certain class must be treated alike for the discrimination to be determined as fair. Otherwise, a property owner may have legal troubles. You can read more about arbitrary discrimination by clicking this link.
Ohio Housing Authority
Besides HUD in Ohio and the associated local housing authorities, you can also visit the Ohio Housing Finance Agency for assistance. The OHFA has aligned itself with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Department of Development to make its rental and housing services available to Ohioans. Public housing agencies can also be contacted with respect to permanent housing.
If you have not been convicted of the manufacture and sale of methamphetamine or have not been charged as a sex offender, it is important to contact HUD or a local housing authority as soon as you are released from prison. While the agency may not have an apartment available that is move-in ready, you can sign up on a waiting list. The sooner you make an appointment, the sooner you can obtain housing.
Ohio Apartment Listings on Craigslist
Craigslist, another valuable resource, is a platform you will want to visit and re-visit often. Most of the posters are entrepreneurs or small property managers. Therefore, they are more willing to work with felons or those who are seeking housing. In order to review the Craigslist site for Ohio, start by clicking on this link. Once you click on the link, click on the city or town in which you want to reside. Click on the “housing” section and include the rental range you can afford to bring up the current listings.
Reentry Programs in Ohio
Begin your job and housing search by taking a look at the reentry listings for Ohio. Use the data often so you can find employment or transitional housing while you look for a permanent residence.
The Ohio Religious Community
You can also obtain housing or job help thorough your area churches. If you are a member of a church in your town or city, ask the pastor about employment leads or housing resources. You can also obtain information by volunteering in a community-based or faith-based organization.
Referrals From Friends and Family
Friends and family can help you as well in your search for an apartment or job. Just make sure you don’t have a family member or close friend sign a lease on your behalf. Your name should be included as an occupant on the rental agreement. Otherwise, you could be evicted or sued.
Additional Felon Housing Search Tips
Convey a Professional Appearance
Dress professionally while you are searching for an apartment or a job. If you want to build on your credibility, it is important to look professional. Buy the clothing at a thrift store or discount retailer.
Establish A Professional Rapport
Always communicate in a professional manner. You will be able to gain the confidence to do so when you dress professionally.
Review the Reentry Programs for Ohio
Always refer to the reentry programs listed for Ohio. Keep in regular contact with certain agencies or programs so you can gain reentry with less difficulty.
People respond well to a positive attitude. Maintaining a positive attitude will also help you stay focused on your goals and objectives.