Can you get Section 8 with a felony

Can you get Section 8 with a felony?

Suppose you are anxious about whether you will be able to find an affordable house with a felony on your record. In that case, you must be relieved to know that you still qualify for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program despite the criminal record. A bad record on its own does not disqualify you from receiving the housing program. However, there are a few exceptions with a few particular crime convictions that could automatically disqualify you from housing assistance.

Assume you meet the other Program requirements. In that case, you can submit your application to the Public Housing Authority, as having crimes on your record will not disqualify you.

We are here to learn how to get public housing assistance despite having a felony. So let’s unwind the process to qualify :

Felonies that Automatically Disqualify an Individual from Section 8 Housing

Automatically Disqualify section 8

Per the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are only exceptions for felonies that will deprive you of a program voucher.

  1. If you have been listed lifetime on the cheat registry.
  2. If you have ever sold meth anywhere near public housing facilities.

It is important to note that if you or anyone you know has committed one of the above-listed felonies and is already residing in the section, your voucher will be taken away forever. Besides, that person will never qualify. He will also be ineligible to live with someone in Section 8.

Can Felons Apply For Section 8?

If you are living in the USA, then you are guaranteed rights and liberties to be respected per US law, and these rights are extended without any exceptions to felons, which makes you eligible for applying for federally funded housing assistance programs like The Housing Choice Voucher Program.

However, you must know that you will have a slightly different application process than others for the program. In addition, you will have limited options compared to people with no crime charges on their records. Moreover, you must meet the following requirements, i.e., income limits or eligibility to avail of housing assistance from the state, as the rules are a bit different for people with criminal records.

County and State Guidelines for Felons Applying

Suppose you don’t have a lifetime listing on the cheat registry or have been convicted of selling meth near public housing facilities despite a felony conviction. In that case, you are already one step closer to availing the Housing Voucher.

However, it is essential to remember that most state and county Public Housing Authorities have strict rules concerning felonies. You may not be able to access the Housing voucher despite being eligible on a federal level. You will have to consult each housing program about their rules as they may vary, owing to their commitment to controlling crime in funded housing facilities.

Here is a list of guidelines that can give you an idea of whether you qualify for public housing.

  • Most places will accept your application if it’s been more than 5 years since the crime happened, except for a few PHA’s requiring ten years on a c crime ge. It is important to note that some PHAs abandon the five-year rule if you have been through a rehabilitation program. However, you will be required to present a certificate of compliance in this case.  
  • Some PHAs will disqualify your application in case of your conviction of a heinous crime, fraud, or drug dealing. It is better to reach out to your local Housing Authorities to determine whether you qualify to apply.
  • Having a documented history of drug or alcohol abuse might make you ineligible, owing to the commitment of Housing Authorities to keep crime down and maintaining a safe environment in public housing.
  • You can even get disqualified based on having a documented history of bad relationships with your neighbors, which may include physical assaults, verbal abuse, bullying, or any other type of disturbing issues.
  • Your application could be turned down if you were not a consistent rent-payer in previous years.

How to Apply?

how apply for rection 8 with felony record

You can apply for public housing with an on-record felony as there is a high probability of a Housing Authority considering the kind of crime and how long ago it was committed via the regular criminal check applied to all the applicants.

Secondly, you can go for a written application for applying. Depending on how you want to approach the federal benefits program, you can find it online or at the local PHA office  (for a fill-out).

Follow the below-mentioned steps to apply for Section 8 housing with criminal record:

  1. Please make sure you are eligible for it. You can check out by looking at the income requirements or your current living (whether you are using illegal drugs or not)
  2. Then, you can fill out all the application forms provided by your local authority to apply for the benefits.

How to Avoid Disqualification from the Program

You must follow the following steps to avoid disqualification from the program.

  • First, opt for an online application or in the local PHA office.
  • Fill in all the information in the application form.
  • Do not hold any piece of information to yourself. State it clearly and honestly in the form.
  • Remember to list all the family members who will live with you in the housing voucher.
  • Pass the check and get the number on the waiting list.
  • Be Patient! Wait until free vouchers are available in your local housing authority.
  • Get a coupon and move to a home approved by PHA.

Get Section 8 with a Felony: Best and Quick Methods

  1. One of the best methods to hire a lawyer. Even though you can apply for yourself, having a lawyer to help you figure out everything will make a huge difference. However, it might be costly, so you can even get free legal assistance for felons, as this assistance might give you the head start you need to qualify.
  2. Getting on board with a lawyer can make everything work for you because so many people know how the housing program vouchers are to be filled. That’s why having a professional who understands the nitty-gritty of the application process will set you apart from other applicants. Hiring a lawyer is an investment when applying for a Public housing facility.

Final Thoughts

So, if you are still wondering about getting a housing voucher despite being a convicted felon, then the answer is yes, it is possible; however, it may be more challenging compared to people with no criminal record. Only being a registered illegal activity or a convicted drug trafficker will deprive you of access to federal housing programs.

You should present more documentation and proof to prove that you have changed after your release from jail, which will strengthen your case. So yes, it is an uphill task to find housing providers who rent to people with criminal records, but it is indeed a possible job, especially with the proper guidance of a lawyer.


Can I apply for in case of a felony?

Yes, You are eligible to apply, however, your eligibility will be affected by the type of crime you were convicted of and the time since the conviction.

What’s The Waiting Period For Applying for a Felony?

You can apply after at least a year has passed since your conviction. You must not be on parole or probation to use for a felony. It is important to remember that you will get automatically disqualified if you have ever been registered for a drug abuse-related offense near housing properties.

Are There Exceptions for felony?

Yes, it has two main exceptions, i.e., if you have ever been listed on the cheat offender registry or you have been convicted for your violent nature, or selling methamphetamine near housing properties makes you ineligible. 

Can you explain the Criteria For Felons Applying?

A felon must live legally in the United States of America for at least five years as well, and he must have lived in the state he is applying in for a specific period. In addition, you must not been involved in any illegal activity, drug trafficking, or crime of any violent nature to be eligible for applying.

How Can Felons Boost Their Chances Of Approval?

Writing a detailed letter stating everything clearly and honestly can give a head start. You can explore low-income housing programs or go for PHAs. In addition, a certificate of Rehabilitation could be helpful after a certain period has passed since conviction. Moreover, getting on board a lawyer can boost your chances of approval by bringing in his professional knowledge and expertise.

How can hiring A Lawyer Help With Applications For Felons?

Having a professional by your side means adopting a better approach throughout the process. He will guide you throughout the process, setting you apart from other applicants, thus increasing your chances of qualification.

Can non-family members live with me in the Housing Voucher Program?

Generally, co-living arrangements are not usually permitted; however, exceptions can be made under exceptional circumstances. However, under the stated conditions, only official family members like siblings, children, parents, and spouses can live in Section 8 housing.

Are there any Priorities Existing for Felons Applying For Section 8?

Yes, certain priority factors can push applicants up the waiting list. You will be prioritized if you are homeless, experiencing domestic abuse, or having a medical emergency, you will be prioritized. In addition, you are an inhabitant of the same area as the application, which can give you an upper hand over other applicants.

Similar Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *