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Reentry Resource Center - New York

Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration

How to Get Public Housing & Section 8 - Even With a Criminal Record (Legal Action Center)

  • Organization: Legal Action Center
  • Document Type: Training materials
  • Creation Date: Monday, August 07, 2006
  • Submitted: Monday, August 07, 2006
  • Attachment: PDF

This guide tells people in New York City how they can get into Section 8 and public housing even if they or someone in their household has a criminal record or is in recovery from a drug or alcohol problem. It contains:

  • New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) admissions policies for people with criminal records and recent illegal drug use,
  • an explanation of the NYCHA appeals process,
  • step-by-step suggestions for how to gather the evidence of rehabilitation necessary to gain housing, and
  • sample letters of reference the type that have proven useful in convincing housing authorities to admit people with criminal records and/or drug histories.

Though the manual focuses on New York City Housing Authority policies, its chapter on How Can You Win Your Hearing? can help people applying to any local housing authority. Its thorough advice for how to marshal evidence of rehabilitation applies equally to housing, employment, or occupational licenses.

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