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NLIHC Joins Sign-On Letter Urging Congress to Address the Reentry Needs of Formerly Incarcerated Individuals in Next Coronavirus Relief Bill

NLIHC joined 75 other organizations in signing a letter sent on May 5 urging congressional leadership to include resources for formerly incarcerated people in the next coronavirus relief package. Chronic overcrowding and unsanitary conditions place incarcerated individuals and those working in prisons, jails, and detention centers at elevated risk of coronavirus infection. To limit overcrowding, some institutions have begun releasing individuals with non-violent convictions. Resources are now needed to support their safe and effective reentry.

Access to safe, stable, affordable, and accessible housing poses a significant barrier for people who have been released from incarceration. While few federal restrictions prohibit people with a criminal record from accessing federally assisted housing, public housing agencies (PHAs) have broad discretion in determining whether to lease to someone with a criminal record. Federal assistance is needed to ensure that people exiting the criminal justice system can access housing after incarceration.

The letter calls on Congress to provide resources to help individuals leaving incarceration find affordable and accessible housing, including vouchers specifically targeted to the reentry population; $11.5 billion in Emergency Solutions Grants funding; and $100 billion in emergency rental assistance through McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants programs.

Read the full letter at: