Beyond Backgrounds

What is Beyond Backgrounds?
A program that provides support to landlords who are willing to rent to someone with criminal, credit or rental history barriers in their background.

When a landlord rents to a Beyond Backgrounds participant, they have access to up to $2,000 of free insurance in the following circumstances:

  • Damage to the unit beyond what the security deposit covers.
  • Unpaid rent at the end of the lease term beyond what is covered by the security deposit.
  • Court filing fees if an eviction is pursued beyond what is covered by the security deposit.
  • Other unfortunate circumstances beyond what is covered by the security deposit.

Is it effective?
Take a look at our Beyond Backgrounds Impact Report below.

How do you get such good results?
Most renters in Beyond Backgrounds have case management support and rental assistance. We also reach out to all program participants (both landlords and renters) each month to check in and see how things are going. We are also available during business hours to discuss issues as needed.

I'm a landlord and I'd like to rent to a Beyond Backgrounds participant. What should I do?
List an open unit on HousingLink. A member from our team will contact you. Have questions or want to discuss in more detail? Email

How do renters get into the program?
All renter applicants to Beyond Backgrounds are referred through partner agencies. You can see a list of partner agencies in the 'How to Apply' section in the right column of this webpage (or at the bottom if you are on a mobile phone).



"The tenant and her daughter were very excited to have a home. Even though her background was a bit suspicious, we felt comfortable renting to her with the extra support."

~K.H., Inver Grove Heights Landlord

"I was having a lot of trouble getting accepted to an apartment. I finally found a place that was close to the neighborhood my children were used to. I didn't meet the qualifications for renting because my income and credit score were a little lower than they wanted. Thankfully, the landlord was willing to accept the landlord insurance policy in place of the eligibility criteria, and my kids and I now have a safe place to live."

~I.J., West St. Paul Renter 

Which Beyond Backgrounds program is right for me?



  • Suburban Metro Area Continuum of Care SMAC (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Scott, and Washington Counties)
  • Dakota County
  • Pohlad Foundation
  • Medica Foundation
  • Ramsey County CDBG
  • Target Foundation
  • Bigelow Foundation
  • St. Paul Foundation
  • Mardag Foundation
  • Otto Bremer Foundation
  • Community Adult Mental Health Initiative CAMHI (Benton, Stearns, Sherburne, and Wright Counties)
  • Initiative Foundation
  • UCare
  • Returning Home St. Paul
  • MN Housing
  • Hennepin County Rapid Re-housing

See Our Impact