Engaging Public Housing Authorities: How to Expand Housing Options for People on Supervision


Monday, August 19, 2019
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Session Type: Workshop

Recently, greater attention has been paid to the difficulties that formerly incarcerated people face when trying to secure affordable housing. In response, there has been growing momentum to ease restrictions around admissions to public housing. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provided guidance to the nation’s 3000+ public housing authorities to develop policies that strike a sensible balance between allowing those with criminal records access to HUD-subsidized housing and maintaining the safety of all community residents. Hear from community corrections leaders about how they are engaging public housing authorities to revise their policies, how you can advocate for your clients to gain access to housing, and how this work connects to the Vera Institute of Justice’s Opening Doors to Public Housing initiative. Attendees will also learn about reentry programs run by public housing authorities in coordination with community corrections.


Mr. Andre Bethea
Policy Advisor, US Department of Justice : Bureau of Justice Statistics

Andre Bethea is the policy advisor for corrections at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. Through the Second Chance Act funding, he manages the behavioral health, education, employment, housing, and transitional services portfolios as well as leads innovative projects across the criminal justice pipeline.

Margaret diZerega
Project Director, Center on Sentencing and Corrections, Vera Institute of Justice

Margaret diZerega works on a range of projects related to housing, education, family contact, and families’ role in reentry. She directs a national initiative to expand access to public housing for people with conviction histories. Margaret also manages Vera’s work on access to post-secondary education within corrections.

Jim Elder
Retired - Bureau Chief Community Corrections, DE Department of Correction

In 2015, Jim Elder was appointed by Governor Jack Markell to the Board of Professional Counselors of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals where he presided as the Board’s Secretary. In December of 2017, Mr. Elder was appointed by current Governor Carney to co-chair the state's Delaware Correctional Reentry Commission.

David Estrella
Director, Housing and Community Development, San Diego County Health and Human Services

David Estrella joined the County of San Diego in 2002. He is currently the Director of Integrative Services for Health and Human Services Agency. His office is consists of the Health, Housing and Human Services (H3) Team and the Department of Housing and Community Development.