Ban the Box

One of the most important benefits of ban-the-box on rental applications would be to increase the odds of obtaining public housing, which is more affordable than private rental units. For renters, many affordable housing programs such as Section 8 public housing or Section 41 housing projects will deny applications based on criminal background. Without access to these programs, many ex-offenders face homelessness.

According to the report, Nowhere to Go: Homelessness Among Formerly Incarcerated People, by Lucius Couloute of the Prison Policy Initiative, formerly incarcerated people are nearly ten times more likely to be homeless than the general public. The rate of homelessness for formerly incarcerated people was 203 per 10,000 people, while another 367 per 10,000 were marginally housed in hotels, motels, or rooming houses but not counted as homeless.[1]

By eliminating this barrier, fair chance housing laws will help reduce homelessness and, consequently recidivism. When people are stably housed, they have fewer recorded non-violent offenses like theft, robbery, trespassing, loitering, and prostitution. These are prime reasons people with low-level offenses are incarcerated. According to the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, homeless men make up 40 percent of all arrests for non-violent crimes.[2] 

Read more about the benefits of ban-the-box on rental applications here.

Take care,


[2] Stephens, R. 2021, “Homeless After Reentry Leads to Higher Recidivism Rates,” Interrogating Justice.