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Invisible Tenant: Living in Federally Assisted Housing after Prison

NCJ Number
Tony Hebert
Date Published
May 2005
18 pages
This study examined the situation of offenders released from prison living with family members in federally subsidized housing in New York City.
The study found that most respondents lived with their families in subsidized housing both before and after incarceration; most respondents were concerned about their ability to find housing on their own and gainful employment after their release from prison; all respondents planned to live with family members in subsidized housing after release from prison; the desire and need to live with family members after release from prison outweighed the fear of eviction from subsidized housing that could result if officials discovered the respondents' criminal background; and most respondents considered their living situation in subsidized housing to be temporary and were anxious to build their own lives. Data for this study came from interviews with a small sample of offenders released from prison who planned on living with family members in federally subsidized housing in New York City. Participants were asked about: 1) their housing status before prison, 2) plans for housing while incarcerated, and 3) experiences living in subsidized housing after prison. The study explored returning prisoners' future plans and challenges in achieving housing independence, and investigated the networks and people that have been critical in the prisoners' transition process. Participants' experiences with subsidized housing are discussed along with recommendations for options to support returning prisoners in their goal of greater self-sufficiency and housing independence. Tables