Felony Convictions and Section 8 Housing
The impact of a felony conviction affects all areas of one’s life including the ability to receive or maintain public housing. In 1974, the federal government added the eighth section to the Housing Act of 1937. This provision gave the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) the authority to use a voucher system to provide housing assistance to low-income families and others who need help. The program is now known as Section 8.
Felony convictions can automatically bar people from receiving Section 8 housing vouchers. For instance, any crime that requires lifelong registration as a sex offender and manufacturing methamphetamine in federal housing are automatic disqualifiers. Further, eligibility rules instruct that no household member(s) are to engage in any criminal activity that “threatens the life, health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.” In addition to meeting income eligibility requirements for Section 8 approval, the applicant must also pass a Section 8 criminal background check.
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