Thursday, June 30, 2011

HUD Director Encourages Public Housing Authorities to Grant Access to Ex-Offenders

Stable housing is crucial to the successful reintegration of ex-offenders into society, and both significantly impact family economic success.

Last week, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan sent a letter to the directors of public housing authorities (PHAs) clarifying and reaffirming HUD’s position on the eligibility of individuals with criminal records for public housing. The letter, which was cosigned by Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Sandra B. Henriquez, highlights the importance of housing stability for successful reentry into the community and prevention of recidivism. It clarified the two explicit bans on public housing occupancy—for individuals found to have manufacture or produced methamphetamine on the premises of federally assisted housing and for sex offenders subject to lifetime registration in a state’s sex offender registration program—while encouraging PHA directors to use their broad discretion “to allow ex-offenders to rejoin their families” in public housing.

Visit PolicyForResults to learn more about strategies to promote affordable housing. Also, visit our homepage to sign up for email updates on workforce strategies for integrating ex-offenders—coming soon!

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