New Haven Ex-Convict Voucher Plan Has Mixed Reaction

By Stephania Jimenez
|  Friday, Dec 28, 2012  |  Updated 4:49 PM EDT
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New Haven Ex-Convict Voucher Plan Has Mixed Reaction

Landlords in New Britain are protesting an ordinance and a street closure is planned tonight.

Ex-convicts in New Haven have a new incentive to stay on a straight and narrow path.
 
The Housing Authority of New Haven is extending section 8 housing vouchers to 20 ex-convicts and their families.

  "It'll allow them to find affordable housing within the city, while they're trying to get their life back on track after returning from prison," said Evelise Ribeiro, from the New Haven Housing Authority.
 
This new effort is part of the city's larger plan to reduce crime and recidivism by granting former prisoners job training and a home when they're released. However, some doubt the program will be a success.
 
"You never know the mind of a criminal. They might revert," said John Thomas.
 
Applicants interested in receiving a voucher will be screened.
 
"Once they determine that this person is compliant and in need of housing, then they would do the referral," said Ribeiro.
 
As an ex-convict, Gary King argued this program might be what New Haven needs to reduce crime, since people leaving jail would need help staying out of trouble.
 
"Most people that come out of jail are homeless, and they go through a tough time finding someplace to live," said King.
 
Convicted arsonists or sex offenders won't qualify for the program. The Housing Authority hopes to start handing out vouchers by early next year.

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