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Criminal Records and Public Benefits

Criminal Records and Public Benefits

Having a criminal record can affect your ability to receive certain public benefits or find housing.  Outstanding bench warrants, violations of probation, and a lack of compliance with court costs and restitution can prevent you from being eligible for certain government programs (see chart below).

Similarly, the laws governing criminal activity in subsidized housing are very strict. If you live in Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) public housing or in Section 8 Voucher subsidized housing, or if you hope to be admitted to one of these housing programs in the future, you should know how these laws may affect you.  The PHA has the authority to: (1) Deny you admission to Public Housing due to your criminal record; and (2) Evict you from Public Housing due to criminal activity.  PHA also operates the Section 8 Voucher Program (also known as the "Housing Choice Voucher Program").  In addition, under the Section 8 Voucher Program, your landlord has the authority to evict you for criminal activity

How to get help:

Walk-in Intake

Community Legal Services
North Philadelphia Law Center

1410 West Erie Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19140
Monday, Wednesday & Friday
9:00 am -12:00 pm