Public Housing/Section 8 Benefit Fraud

Identity Fraud Scenario

How Many People Are Living In Your House? For fraudsters, it’s easy to forget, especially when there are
so many.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development provides Section 8 assistance to families who make 50 percent or less than their area’s median income. However, those who lie about their income might collect tens of thousands of dollars in subsidies, wasting government money that could be going to needy citizens.

  • Fact: Improper payments can add up to a substantial monetary loss to the government, while also diverting time and resources from the core mission and undermining consumer trust.

  • More than $106 billion dollars are lost to improper payments each year, including rental housing assistance programs.

Section 8 fraud occurs when people fail to accurately report income; allow others to live with them but don't report it; report dependents living in the household that are not or do not even rent out the assisted unit.

Public Housing fraud is rampant with identity-based fraud schemes that include unauthorized tenants through subletting, identity theft used for fraudulent applications, and assistance fraud by individuals claiming to need help who really do not. The most egregious fraud is by individuals who use multiple identities to apply for and receive public housing benefits, then turn around and sublet the apartments to friends, family members, and others. These landlords collect rent on properties they do not own.

Other tricks include the failure to disclose information like accurate household income, or specific types of criminal history, such as drug convictions, that may disqualify an individual from receiving a public housing benefit. The Office of Management and Budget estimates Public Housing fraud to exceed $1.3B annually.

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