Ending Mass IncarcerationProviding Second Chances


Most cities bar formerly incarcerated people from public housing—even when their families reside there. This puts a strain on families, deprives men and women returning home from prison of the foundation for a stable life, and has a slew of social costs when people become homeless and unemployed, relapse, or are re-incarcerated.

With an array of partners, our pilot program in New York City is reuniting 150 carefully screened formerly incarcerated people with their families in public housing. It could be a model for smart, safe, cost-effective housing policies nationwide. Similarly, work with the Housing Authority in New Orleans to replace blanket prohibitions with individualized assessments is providing access to publicly funded housing and employment assistance to some of the people who need it most.

Related Work

Report to the New York City Housing Authority

Applying and Lifting Permanent Exclusions for Criminal Conduct

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is conducting an internal review of its policies related to permanent exclusions for criminal conduct on NYCHA property.  Permanent exclusion (PE) occurs when a NYCHA tenant—rather than risk eviction—enters into a stipulation that those associated with the resident who have engaged in non-desirable behavi...

  • Margaret diZerega, John Bae
February 08, 2017

Coming Home

An Evaluation of the New York City Housing Authority’s Family Reentry Pilot Program

Public housing authorities across the nation historically have barred many with criminal records from public housing residency. However, given evidence of the critical role stable housing and family reunification plays for people coming back to their communities from incarceration, some housing authorities are rethinking their practices. This repor...

  • John Bae, Margaret diZerega, Jacob Kang-Brown, Ryan Shanahan, Ram Subramanian
November 14, 2016