New housing policy eases transition for those with criminal records

December 02, 2015
Greg Ostiguy of New Bedford was arrested and charged with assault and battery in August 1991 after getting into a confrontation with his brother.
     Ostiguy, then 27, had been working for a lumber company and living on Thomas Street. He spent three days in jail.
     Two decades later, Ostiguy, 47, said he is homeless, camping out at a Park and Ride near the New Bedford Regional Airport. He said he has been living on the streets because he has been struggling to find work with his criminal record and unable to afford rent. He relies on a disability check for a motorcycle accident years ago.
     A new policy and guidance from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Justice Department would make it easier for people like Ostiguy to transition from prison and gain more opportunities for jobs and housing.
     "If I had housing, I could try to do better in my life. It's been two decades.