Browse some frequently asked questions below:
How do I sign up? Are you recruiting new participants right now?
We are finalizing an evaluation of the pilot test of the program, and are not actively recruiting new participants. We anticipate recruitment to begin again in 2019.
What types of individuals are eligible to participate in the program?
Eligible individuals will be contacted by program staff at least three months prior to their release from prison. Male prisoners who are going to be released onto mandatory supervision (i.e., supervised by a parole officer upon release) are potentially eligible, except for those who will be supervised post-release through Maryland’s Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) and anyone who has an outstanding detainer.
A member of my family is about to be released from incarceration. How can he sign-up for the MOVE program?
Because our goal is to find housing for individuals prior to their release from incarceration, we recruit directly by going inside prisons to hold information sessions. We target individuals who will soon be released. Because we work inside prisons, we are able to reach those individuals who have never heard of the program and are not even aware of the opportunity for housing.
Can I get help finding housing? Do I get to choose the apartment?
Yes and yes. Individuals who receive a housing subsidy through the lottery also have the option of receiving free housing location assistance from the MOVE housing specialist. Starting approximately two months prior to a participant’s release from prison, the MOVE housing specialist will meet with the participant to assist with locating housing. Participants will meet with the housing specialist for approximately 30 minutes on two to three occasions. The housing specialist will attempt to locate available housing options for the participants, but it is ultimately up to each participant to choose which housing he wants from the available options.
When do you recruit participants into your program?
Roughly three to six months prior to their projected release date, eligible participants will be invited to an information session inside the institution, where program staff will describe the housing opportunity and other program details. Individuals will then be asked if they would like to enroll in the program.
Given the number of people imprisoned in Maryland and the extensive demand for housing among released prisoners, it is not possible for our program to provide housing to every interested individual. We aim to recruit new participants after we have successfully placed a prior cohort of participants into housing.
Can I live with someone who has an existing lease or mortgage?
Yes. As long as the residence is located within the specific geographic area where the subsidy can be used—Baltimore City or Prince George’s County—the MOVE program will pay the rent or mortgage up to the designated subsidy amount. The housing subsidy payment will be made directly to the landlord or mortgage lender, not to the leaseholder or resident.
What happens if I cannot afford the rent after the free housing subsidy ends?
As with any lease, if a participant cannot afford the rent, then he may have to break the lease or may be evicted. The program will concentrate resources for ex-prisoners during the first few months after release from prison, when the challenges for ex-prisoners are especially substantial. The subsidy does not last indefinitely. Individuals should not obtain housing they do not anticipate being able to afford after the housing subsidies are over. If a participate will not be able to afford the apartment after the six month subsidy is completed, then we advise the participant to only sign a six-month lease.
Have any questions? Get in touch!
Photo Source: “By the Dawn’s Early Light” flickr photo by urbanfeel; https://flickr.com/photos/30003006@N00/14567978253 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license
“Rows and Rows” flickr photo by Andre Mercier; https://flickr.com/photos/andremercier/3572564728 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license