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Discussion: How can registrants find a place to live?

This is an open discussion where you can share your ideas on how we registrants can find housing in a society that discriminates against us. For example:

  • How to look for housing
  • Available housing search resources
  • Your success story

If your information is specific to your state, please mention the state.

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Tangential to this topic, but how does a registered person find rental housing? I’m in a cheap month-to-month apartment right now where they did not ask about criminal history, but I am moving out of state and so far most of the rentals I am seeing are managed by property management companies which deny sex offenders. I’ve got great credit and a great reference from my current landlord but none of that seems to matter when you have this Mark of Cain. I am considering buying a used RV as a hedge against homelessness and then just parking in month… Read more »

You can find inexpensive land all over the place (as long as you don’t have to be “too near” some expensive areas). Buy some. Park your RV there. Build a cool tiny home. Later build a house. Do whatever you want.

Build a wall around it.

I am in posision now to help another .
I don’t know How to contact , with out puting out too much info on this site.

The best way to put out for someone to contact you is posting a throw away/disposable email account. There are plenty of sites which offer them for free.

What worked whenever I moved in Cali, and when I moved to Nevada, was searching through Craigslist ads until I found some private landlords who didn’t use property management. Then applied to them until I found one that didn’t ask about felonies. There were often quite a few who said yes to me, and I actually had quite a few options when I moved to Nevada. Ymmv, but that is how I rented both in Cali and until I bought my house in Nevada.

When I was waiting for my parole plan to be approved, the one sticking point was getting approval on my proposed living arrangements. I had no family in the state, and being in prison I had no real way to go apartment hunting. This was keeping me from being released. My mother worked with an attorney in the local area to put together my parole plan. When it came to searching for an apartment there were two problems – finding one in an allowable place, and finding a landlord that was willing to rent to me. The bigger problem was… Read more »

@Worried in Wisconsin
Great Post! Who would have guessed? Being honest has always worked well for me too.

Very interesting. I had my home to go back to, so I was lucky. But, on the subject of being direct, and this should probably be in the previous employment section: My first job after my sentence, I simply told the employer what I did. I had been telling everyone in interviews the same thing, but this guy’s father happened to have the same offense. So, I guess he liked the honesty, but I also had more than enough experience for the job. I mean it was nothing great, digging holes and gluing pipe, but it saved my life, my… Read more »

The term “registrant” is derogatory and offensive. It’s usage should be frowned upon.

It is certainly better than “$EX offender” or “offender”. We’ve had this discussion here before but what do you suggest instead??

Registered Citizen
Registered Person
Person Registered for Harassment, Restrictions, and Punishment (PRHRP)

I like the last one.

How does denial of a rental reconcile with CA’s 290 status stating your registration cannot be used as a factor? Even your criminal record cannot be used as a factor if it’s more than 7 years old, right?

My family and I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt and with all too much pain (horrific pain), that finding a house that I am “allowed” to live in, is 1,000,000 times harder than finding a job. I am not on parole. I am very well employed. I am disgusted and ashamed by what I did CP. I am not more of a threat than someone who hasn’t been convicted of any sex crime. Funny thing is, is that I am way happier now than I was when I was acting like that, but disgusted and angry that I… Read more »

I’ve always advocated even for non-registrants another “crazy” option that isn’t so crazy and it’s quite popular. It involves minimalism, survivalist mindset, freedom to move around and affordability. It’s call RV life or vandwelling. I’ve noticed many registrants do not have a driver’s license so this would not be an option for them. In California, life in a small but cozy RV can be just the ticket to a bad mess. In my case, it’s saved my hide on a few occasions. In California, cities are no longer allowed to force you to move around simply for being “homeless”. If… Read more »

@Nicholas, thanks, how do you register, as a transient? Any tips on that?

Homeless people have more stringent in-person registration requirements — which I think is ridiculous, considering that Smith v. Doe addressed mail-in (not in-person) registration requirements.

I’ve been registering for almost 20 years. Only during parole while homeless did I have to give my locations to parole, but never to the City police or Sheriff. I found it far easier being a transient with the exception of having to report every 30 days. I’ve never been asked by law enforcement where I was staying at. In a vehicle i declare if i’m either mostly in the city limits at night or in the county and register accordingly. I guess it’s different for different jurisdictions, which tells me it’s time to get clarification in writing from CA… Read more »

Not sure how it works where you are, but in many jurisdictions registering as a transient involves much more frequent in-person reporting. Some places require notification every time you find a new park bench to sleep on if you’re homeless. I would avoid transient registration at all costs – just too many ways to get tripped up and be found in violation. We have a camper that we use for vacation travel, and it’s become quite a chore to route our journeys to stay in compliance. Lots of research to verify allowable time-in-state before registration, lots of research to avoid… Read more »

This guy build his own. I don’t know who this guy is ;-).

Are you crossing state borders at all? If so, you’d have a myriad of reg requirements to deal with.
Sounds like you’d have to move every three days to avoid that, so I’m assuming you are staying in one state?

Nicholias, You seem pretty savvy on the rseidency knowledge, I will be moving out of orange county next year after 14 years of registering here. I have a 314.1 misdemeanor have had it expunged and I’am not on website for registrants with picture. My question is will I still have a problem finding a rental and what areas would be easier as I need to petition to get off in 2021 in california. Any advice would be greatly appreciated I have $50,000 to purchase land also……..I have worked hard for years. I could let someone live with me if they… Read more »

@BA, Move to the Bay Area. I was convicted in Orange County but immediately moved to San Francisco and had my probation transferred. Probation was a cake walk. SF also granted my 17b and expungement. Like you, I’m also not publicly listed (never was). This is just an opinion based on what I’ve observed, but I would think petitioning would be easier in the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and Solano. I do know that the recently elected DA in Contra Costa is a firm believer in restorative justice and won on that platform. Avoid Santa Clara county, which… Read more »

I agree but I need to be close to my sister she has cancer so it would be los angeles county, riverside or san bernardino as she is in yorba linda. Maybe I will buy a lot in say riverside and put a rv there? do they make you build immediately! I think if it is a bit away from total residentials they don’t care if you build within 6 months or so…….they do background checks to rent a apt.? I thought more like credit?

I have noticed if you go around some small to mid sized universities, there tend to be some cheaper apartments in those areas catering to students which tend to be managed and owned by the same person. If you tell them you plan on attending school there, they tend to not to ask many questions beyond that. I have had a lot of luck in those areas. For veterans, there is the Home Loan program which makes it easier to qualify for a home load with zero down. You can even get a duplex, for example as log s you… Read more »

Got to be careful with any of the Federal programs related to mortgages and home loans, whether VA or otherwise. There are new rules being added all the time that prohibit anyone with a sex offense conviction from being approved for a loan. I ran into this with an SBA loan for my business, and also when we did our home loan. Had to find a lender who was not going through Fanny or Freddie. Rules change all the time with these programs.

I have never read those rules. Can you provide a site for me and others to learn about?

Just do an online search for whatever loan program you are looking at combined with the term ‘sex offender’ and you’ll find lots of results.

One that affects home mortgages was the FHA Reform Act of 2010. Not fun reading.

Another was mentioned on this site a few years ago, the one about the SBA loan restrictions.

@Worried in Wisconsin,

Are you sure about that? I bought my house in August 2016 with an FHA loan. There was never any problems. The whole sale went quite smoothly without any hiccups. This was in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Am I sure? I’m not sure about anything when it comes to the rules they keep adding/changing for us.

What I do know is that when we did our last refi we had to search out a bank that was not using an FHA loan. Would it be a problem for everyone? Don’t know. It was for us.

I live in Oklahoma City and I do not have to register anymore, Thanks be to God but I still can not seem to get an apartment. I am a 52 year old male Independently disabled I receive $698 check with $200 food stamps and $40 from Oklahoma debit program. I am a relaxed smoker of 10 smokes a day and have not been able to find an apartment even though I am not on the registry for 2 years all because of 3rd party websites not having accurate information and yes I know there are ways to try and… Read more »

Be aware of predatory scams, especially on sites like Craigslist. Often times, random people will list an empty house for rent, ask for application and deposit, then let you move in. Only problem is it’s not their house to rent out. Happens all the time. Sadly people hand over their cash to people they don’t know, and will never see that cash again.

Don’t fall for this or anything remotely similar. The scams are in every city, but nobody is ever convicted for it. Hey, that gives me an idea on how to get rich quick….

To add what Nicholas Maietta said, you can check on the house for rent on CL by checking Zillow. In my experience of looking for places to live of late, the CL ads are stolen from active Zillow rental ads with different contact info of course to send your money to. I once went by the same house for rent on CL and Zillow and asked the person living there if they were aware of the double listing, which they were not. It was the owner who was listing their house for rent but was quickly made aware of the… Read more »

We found a for rent by owner home about 2 years ago. Now mind you that was before the AWA happened here in NV. Hopefully we have no issues and can stay here since weve been here a while!!!!

Finding a place to live in Penn is a bit easier than other states as there is no state law for residency restrictions. So now all you have to do is find a landlord that is willing to rent to you because of your status as a RC. Again, as mentioned in many other posts it is best to avoid seeking a residence that is run by a management company. My experience and of those that I know it is best to deal with the landlord personally. When I was granted parole back in June of 2010 it took me… Read more »

I have never heard of anybody in any state being arrested or convicted for living in a house that was “off limits” to an RSO. I’m sure I could find some via google. What about living where any other free American lives, and if you get arrested, already have a lawyer in place and already have contacts w/the aclu.

@anonymous — “What about living where any other free American lives, and if you get arrested, already have a lawyer in place and already have contacts w/the aclu.” The ACLU won’t get involved in individual criminal cases. The exceptions are things like Smith v Doe or Does v Snyder where larger civil rights concerns affecting large numbers of people are at issue. So having contacts with the ACLU serves no purpose. And so what if you have a lawyer in place ahead of time? If you are clearly in violation of the law, you are not going to win unless… Read more »

My parents brought me an RV and was allowed to live in the back yard until the country inspector saw me coming out of the place and told my parents. Country laws said no RV living So I moved to my dad condo then my dad had to sell out then I moved to my boss’s house.
I just got lucky.

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