No, felonies do not immediately make applicants ineligible. Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher applicants will be screened for program suitability. We review criminal activity related to drug, disturbance and/or violent activity documented through police reports, Landlord references or convictions. This will include credit, landlord reference, and criminal background checks. (Criminal background checks are requested for all residents 18 years or older as part of pre-interview screening.) Sex offenders under lifetime registration requirements are disqualified under federal law.
Reasons for disqualification include, but are not limited to:
- Debts owed to previous landlords or Public Housing Authorities
- Delinquent utility debts
- Drug or alcohol related arrests or evictions
- Gang related activity
- Past evictions or poor landlord references
- Property tax liens
- Violent crimes
Efforts to repay past delinquencies and successful completion of drug or alcohol abuse programs will be taken into account when determining tenant suitability. Lack of credit history is not cause for disqualification.
If you are denied admission, you have the right to request a Grievance Hearing. Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), you cannot be denied because you were a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. If you are seeking VAWA protection, download and fill out the Emergency Transfer Request form (PDF) and find information concerning your rights (PDF).