09/03/2015
Vera Institute of Justice

Stable housing is essential to supporting a formerly incarcerated person’s successful return to his or her community. Until recently, however, most public housing authorities throughout the country have prevented formerly incarcerated people from formally returning to their homes or living with family members in public housing. In response to this issue, cities such as New York City, Oakland, and Chicago have implemented reforms in tenant-selection criteria that ensure a person’s application for housing is not negatively impacted by his or her criminal record. This fact sheet serves as a resource for public housing authorities seeking to implement policies that ensure public safety while providing people with criminal histories the housing stability necessary to break cycles of incarceration and homelessness.