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Section 8 is a program run by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development that provides rent vouchers to the elderly, disabled and others unable to pay their rent without financial assistance. Section 8, an outcome of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1937, pays the balance of a renter’s income that goes beyond what they themselves earn. A state Public Housing Agency (PHA) administers applicants and tenants who must fit within the program’s guidelines. Landlords authorized to rent to Section 8 tenants must undergo inspections. While the federally regulated Housing Choice Voucher Program has been in place for decades and is tightly controlled, Section 8 fraud is a common occurrence that can create longer waiting times for those in dire need of housing assistance. https://www.ajc.com/news/local/investigators-arrest-section-cheating-suspects/uA43zdZQo4LdMMaku3xjYO/. The time between an applicant requests help with their housing costs and is finally granted it can take years. Being accepted into the Section 8 program fraudulently gravely reduces its effectiveness. The following are just some of the ways by which those approved for Section 8 benefit from its assistance illegally.
Working without reporting income
The Section 8 rental assistance program requires that its recipients provide exact information on their gross income annually in order to qualify. Each state has its own criteria. An applicant who wants to be sure that they’re eligible should have no problem determining if they’re eligible for Section 8 in their home state. Local public housing websites will direct those in need to the appropriate contacts. https://www.hud.gov/topics/housing_choice_voucher_program_section_8. While some may make errors on their application in error, others will purposely give financial information that’s false in order to receive rent assistance illegally. Someone working off the books and earning cash they don’t report as income is one typical example.
Section 8 landlords and tenants not reporting that they’re relatives
A relative is not permitted to be the landlord of a Section 8 voucher holder. One exception to this regulation is if the tenant is disabled and in need of a housing environment designed to specifically accommodate them, however. There might be Section 8 applicant or tenants who aren’t aware of the rules to the extent that they should be who violate these guidelines unknowingly, but there are family members who hide the fact that they’re related to their Section 8 intentionally.
Subletting a Section 8 unit
A Section 8 tenant must reside in the unit for which they receive rental assistance. It’s one of the rules an applicant agrees to when they apply for assistance. Renting the unit out to another tenant in order to benefit from the low cost of it and make a profit is a gross abuse of a program put in place to make sure that those who really need rental assistance are able to get it. It’s another method by which some who apply for the program try to illegally benefit from it, unfortunately.
Reporting a larger family size than is truthful in order to qualify for more spacious housing
Section 8 has guidelines related to the size units that each applicant is eligible for. That said, it’s not out of the ordinary for those seeking Section 8 housing to say that their families are larger than they truly are as a way to qualify for larger living spaces than they’re entitled to have under the program.
If you are a tenant under the Section 8 program who finds yourself being charged with fraud because of the any above offenses or one not mentioned, it’s important to get the right legal representation since penalties can lead to serious charges that include conspiracy to commit theft of government funds or public money. Being criminally investigated by the United States Department of Urban Housing is an event of major concern with dire consequences. Seek experienced legal counsel immediately. Don’t wait.