TUCSON, AZ — The Associated Press is reporting a Phoenix-based apartment company, Second Chance Rentals, is expanding to Tucson thanks in part to its target clientele: convicted felons.
Second Chance Rentals brought its practice of renting to felons and evictees, a population other landlords might consider high-risk, to the Tucson market this summer.
“Felons are our best clients,” CEO Les Boynton said. “They value their housing.”
Public defenders such as assistant Pima County public defender Joel Feinman say finding housing is one of several issues people with felony convictions have to deal with.
“It’s not just sex offenders or murderers who suffer these consequences,” he said. “It’s people who are convicted of possession of marijuana or felony shoplifting.”
Boynton, whose clients are all non-violent offenders, said he has rented to more than 22,000 people at 120 apartment complexes in Phoenix since starting his company in 2003. He does not work with sex offenders, habitual drug dealers or people who are frequently in and out of prison, the Arizona Daily Star reported click here for story.
Second Chance oversees a 52-unit complex in Tucson that Boynton and a group of investors bought in May.
“To my knowledge, there is no model specifically like that in Tucson,” said Mike Chapman, a specialist in multifamily housing for Tucson-based NAI Horizon, a commercial real estate company.
The property has a 96 percent occupancy rate. The company intends to buy or manage another 400 units by the end of the year, Boynton said. It could be needed in a county where nearly 41,000 people have been convicted of felonies in the last decade.
Sharli Pettit, who is 19 and more than eight months pregnant, had difficulty finding a place because of her prior conviction for methamphetamine possession. But just a few hours after checking out a small apartment owned by Second Chance, she signed a contract.
“It’s really hard to find a place that allows people like me, being a felon,” she said. “All I want to do is turn my life around.”
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