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.
A Direction Home
In Recognition of National Reentry Week
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...
Innovative Reentry Practices for Incarcerated People Coming Home
For an incarcerated person, leaving prison can be both exhilarating and overwhelming: freedom is finally palpable. But, for over 700,000 people leaving prisons and jails annually, the pressure of finding a home is an immediate and paramount strain. The mark of a past criminal record eliminates many housing possibilities precisely at the moment when...
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...
Opening Doors to Public Housing
Expanding Access for People with Conviction Histories
Vera, which is guiding implementation of the largest public housing reentry pilot program in the country, is launching a national project to assist public housing authorities, community supervision agencies, and reentry service providers to work together to promote family reunification and successful reentry outcomes for formerly incarcerated peopl...
In New Orleans, the housing authority is helping people with criminal convictions rejoin families
Think about a particularly trying time in your life. Now think about not having a place to stay or family to support you during this time of hardship. Would you have made it? For people recently convicted of a crime, having a place to stay and the support of family are often the most influential factors in their success. But for decades, housi...
NYCHA Family Reentry Pilot Program
Opening doors to public housing for people with criminal convictions
On Monday, November 2, President Obama announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released guidance for public housing and other federally-assisted housing providers on “excluding the use of arrest records in housing decisions.” The guidance is an important step in helping housing authorities reexamine the ways th...
Public Housing for People with Criminal Histories
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 ...
NYCHA Family Reentry Pilot
Reuniting Families in New York City Public Housing
This two-year pilot program aims to help formerly incarcerated people by reuniting them with their families in public housing. The program builds on the growing nationwide momentum to ease public housing bans on people with criminal convictions. In this first phase, 150 people wishing to live in public housing—all of whom have been released from a ...
Justice in Transition-NYC
Our Kids - Our Future
What will justice look like in the de Blasio era? Our Kids - Our Future is the first in a series of panel discussions convened by Vera to assess New York City's justice systems and proffer solutions for a new administration. This panel focuses on juvenile justice and the practices that can reduce young people’s contact with the system, while improv...
Coming of Age with Stop and Frisk
Experiences, Self-Perceptions, and Public Safety Implications
What is the impact of stop and frisk on young people in highly patrolled areas of New York City, and what does it mean for public safety? Find out in this video as lead authors, Jennifer Fratello and Andrés F. Rengifo, discuss the results of their study "Coming of Age with Stop and Frisk: Experiences, Self-Perceptions, and Public Safety Implication...