Developing Reentry Programs Lessons from Public Housing Authorities

Developing Reentry Programs Lessons From Phas Full
Housing and support from family are critical to one’s successful transition into the community after release from prison or jail.

My team in Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections have worked with 11 of these PHAs since November 2016 to document their innovations for a new guide, Opening Doors: How to develop reentry programs using examples from public housing authorities. The guide reveals components of a reentry program that PHAs should consider (such as partners, funding, eligibility criteria) when developing an initiative to support formerly incarcerated people and their families, and also offers practical methods to sustaining a program model and sparking larger policy reforms. The guide is intended for PHAs interested in developing their own programs and other community stakeholders who wish to partner with their local PHAs to launch such initiatives. Vera also brought the 11 PHAs together for an event in November 2016—you can watch some of the conversation here.

The 11 PHAs in Opening Doors are offering solutions to a decades-old problem, especially in jurisdictions where affordable housing is scarce. Further, they are easing the burden of housing-service providers that work with formerly incarcerated people. These reforms signal a shift in the way formerly incarcerated people are perceived, and point towards a growing consensus that housing is a human right.