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Housing For Felons In Wisconsin

Get help finding housing for felons in Wisconsin. Trying to locate felon friendly housing by yourself is difficult, so we’ve put together some resources to make your housing search easier.  

Finding Housing For Felons In Wisconsin 2024

Wisconsin

If you’re a recently released felon or a felon serving probation, contact Wisconsin reentry organizations to get help finding housing.

Felons without housing or those at risk of homelessness will be found a place at a local shelter as a short-term solution.

For longer-term housing, your reentry case manager will connect you with transitional housing providers in Wisconsin or landlords who rent to felons. Transitional housing (also known as halfway houses) provides a secure, structured place to live as you begin to build a new life. 

To find reentry programs to help you find apartment community listings for felons in Wisconsin go to the Wisconsin 211 website. Here’s how to find the resources you need on the 211 website.

  1. Go to https://211wisconsin.communityos.org/.
  2. Next to “I’m looking for…” type reentry.
  3. Choose “Ex-offender reentry programs” from the list.
  4. Enter your Zip Code and click Search.
  5. Click locations on the map or look through the resource list underneath the map.
  6. Read the information about each reentry program, then use the contact details to get in touch with a case manager. 

See More: Felon Housing in Kansas

Felon Friendly Housing Wisconsin

When you apply to rent an apartment or house, you’ll usually be faced with a rental background check that reveals your criminal history. The success of your rental application depends on the landlord’s criminal background acceptance policy.

To avoid wasting money on rental application fees, ask for a copy of the acceptance criteria so you know which felony offenses and time scales are disqualifying. 

Landlords aren’t allowed to use blanket bans where they simply reject every applicant with a felony, but they are allowed to specify certain disqualifying offenses to safeguard themselves, other tenants, and their property.

Avoid large apartment communities. You’ll often have better luck if you limit your housing search to independent landlords advertising on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Some of these landlords don’t run background checks, and others may have more felon friendly rental policies.

Use a second-chance apartment locator. These rental agents specialize in helping renters with bad credit and criminal records find landlords willing to accept their background problems.

If you’re in or near Milwaukee, fill out the form at Second Chance Apartments and get expert help. Here’s the website: https://secondchanceapartments.com/cities/milwaukee/

To find second-chance apartment locators elsewhere in Wisconsin, search online or look on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

Affordable Apartment for Felons In Wisconsin

If you’re on a low income you may be eligible for these federally funded housing programs:

  • Public Housing
  • Subsidized Housing
  • Housing Choice Voucher Program

Renters accepted into these programs pay reduced rents for as long as they meet income eligibility limits.

In Wisconsin, you can apply for public housing or the Housing Choice Voucher program (Section 8) if your household income is below 50% of the area median income for your household size.

Contact your local Public Housing Authority to find out if you’re eligible for the programs and learn how to get on the waiting list.

Use this link to find Public Housing Authority websites in Wisconsin: https://www.hud.gov/states/wisconsin/renting/hawebsites

Newcap Housing Assistance Programs

Newcap is a Wisconsin nonprofit operating in 10 counties. Fill out the intake form to find out if you qualify for any of the housing programs they run in the following counties:

  • Brown
  • Florence
  • Forest
  • Langlade
  • Marinette
  • Menominee
  • Oconto
  • Oneida
  • Shawano
  • Vilas

Find the intake form here: https://www.newcap.org/intake-form/

Housing Grants For Felons In Wisconsin

Wisconsin

If you need financial help to afford your rent or security deposit these resources may be able to help you. These grants aren’t specifically for felons, they’re available to all low-income individuals and families.

Emergency Assistance Grants

Emergency assistance grants for housing emergencies are available to parents in Wisconsin with children under the age of 18, so felons with children can apply.

To qualify for a grant you must have limited assets and your income must be below 115% of the federal poverty level.

An emergency assistance grant can be used to cover one rent payment or the security deposit to help you move into a new rental. Learn more at the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families website: https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/ea.

Go to the Wisconsin ACCESS website. Answer a few eligibility questions to find out if you qualify for a grant and learn about the other assistance programs you may qualify for. 

Check your eligibility at: https://access.wi.gov/s/aie-home

United Way

Call the United Way helpline on 211 and ask an advisor to connect you with charities and nonprofits that offer grants for felons in Wisconsin. Calls are free and the helpline is staffed 24/7. Your advisor will also be able to suggest potential housing resources for you.

Dane County Dwelling Intervention Grants & Sustenance Program (DIGS)

The DIGS program can help you pay for a security deposit, first month’s rent, and rental application fees.

If you live in Madison or the wider Dane County area, visit the website to learn more and find contact details: https://porchlightinc.org/prevention/.

Next Steps

Contact a reentry organization to get help tailored to your specific needs and to address your immediate housing situation and longer-term housing needs.

Apply for government-funded housing programs and find out if you’re eligible for any grants to help you with move-in costs.