October 10, 2017-The Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College, The Fortune Society, The Supportive Housing Network of New York, the Corporation for Supportive Housing are pleased to release our joint report and podcast series, A Place to Call Home: A Vision for Safe, Supportive and Affordable Housing for People with Justice System Involvement. A Place to Call Home posits that improving access to housing for vulnerable populations can reap increases in public safety and save taxpayer dollars, while acting as a base of stability from which jobs, education, vocational training, mental and physical health services, and community supervision can follow. Since the 1980s, America has seen an explosion in the use of its criminal justice system, stemming from Justice-involved people face barriers at every turn as they try to reconstruct their lives, including significant barriers when trying to access housing, including background checks, credit checks, and hefty deposits. Policies of local and federal housing authorities often pose barriers for those who seek subsidized or affordable housing. Faced with these barriers, people with criminal justice histories instead often end up on the streets, in shelters, and in unregulated, uninhabitable housing.
A Place to Call Home argues that supporting and investing in housing for individuals with criminal records aligns with shared American values of redemption and access to opportunity. Increasing access to housing reduces taxpayer costs for shelters and other emergency systems. It also increases public safety by helping to break the cycle of recidivism and creating a base for family stability and reentry success.