Housing fraud is any action, or failure to act, that allows a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program participant or landlord to receive benefits for which they don’t qualify. The public housing agency has a department that initiates investigations of a participating households in the event of one or more of the following circumstances:
The department will take action on referrals from other agencies, companies or persons which are received by mail, by telephone, or in person, which allege that a participant or landlord is in non-compliance with, or violating the obligations or any other program rules. Follow up may be made if the referral contains at least one item of information that is independently verifiable. A copy of the allegation will be retained in the household or landlord file.
If department staff discovers, through a certification, recertification, an interim recertification, or a quality control review, that there are facts in conflict with previous file data, the department will take into consideration the following:
In the case of landlord-caused errors or program abuse, the department will take into consideration the following:
The department will inform the relevant party in writing of its findings and upon conclusion of the investigation. The notice will include:
Participating renters and landlords will also be encouraged to report suspected abuse to the HCV Program. The PHA will take one of the following actions on allegations that appear to be verifiable:
If it is determined that an allegation or referral warrants action, the department will initiate an investigation. The department is required to secure a written authorization from the program participant for the release of information. If the participant does not sign the release, the household’s assistance can be terminated.