Among my priorities at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to ensure the public safety of the households, the properties, and the communities that we assist. One of the most important ways that HUD can meet this priority is to ensure that people leaving prisons and jails are supported in their reentry to the community. Research also shows that people who lack stable housing following incarceration face a higher likelihood of rearrest and reincarceration. On the other hand, a stable home can serve as the foundation upon which returning citizens can rebuild their lives, obtain employment, improve their health, and achieve recovery.

Unfortunately, too many people exit prisons and jails in America without a stable home to return to. A significant number of people experiencing homelessness are caught in a revolving door between homelessness and reincarceration. In some communities, the lack of stable housing can also delay a person’s approval for discretionary release from prison, leading people to serve more time behind bars than those with stable housing. Many people face housing denials based on their criminal records years or decades after serving their time, even when their criminal history does not indicate that they present a substantial risk to persons or property.

The President and I believe that everyone deserves a second chance and a stable home from which to rebuild their lives. No person should exit a prison or jail only to wind up on the streets.

To that end, HUD is committed to taking a comprehensive approach to addressing the housing needs of returning citizens and people with criminal records, and by doing so, increasing public safety within our communities. Addressing reentry housing needs also furthers the Biden Administration’s commitment to advancing equity and reversing systemic racism, given the racial disparities evident in the criminal justice system.

Read the full article about reentry housing needs by Marcia L. Fudge at U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.