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California Section 8 Fraud

California Section 8 Fraud can be reported to the housing authority issuing rental vouchers or directly to the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Section 8 housing assistance programs are meant for low-income families meeting the eligibility criteria of their respective local housing authorities in California. Sometimes the program participants including the tenants as well as the landlords are found to be indulging in activities that do not conform to the law and are in violation of HUD regulations regarding section 8. A housing authority usually has a Program Integrity Officer that can be contacted in case of a suspected Section 8 fraud or crime in California.

What is a Section 8 Housing Fraud?

A Section 8 Housing Fraud is committed when a tenant or landlord attempts to take undue advantage of the federal fund sanctioned under a rental assistance program.

The fraudulent practices by a tenant may involve false representation of income status, family size, social security number or identity; use of fake documents, such as birth certificates and marriage licenses; renting from a family member; subletting a part of the rental unit or the whole of it and participation in criminal activities like drug trafficking.

A landlord can be suspected of committing a Section 8 fraud in California if he/she is found to be charging extra amount as the rent from the Section 8 tenant, living in the subsidized rental units or renting to a member of his/her own family. A person charged with a Section 8 fraud may face a court trial leading to termination from the rental assistance program, probation, mandatory restitution and possibly imprisonment.

HUD Section 8 Fraud

HUD has a special division known as the Office of the Inspector General that handles all matters pertaining to the Section 8 Fraud in any part of the country. The office acts as a guardian to see whether the housing assistance programs function smoothly at federal and local level, and no participants are taking undue advantages of the benefits reserved specifically for the families in greatest housing needs.

The OIG Hotline has been established to receive reports of Section 8 fraud and abuse of HUD-funded programs from the residents of California and other states of the US. For Section 8 Fraud Reporting, you can send a letter to HUD at the address given below or contact the department over phone or Internet.

Section 8 Fraud Reporting in California

To report a Section 8 Fraud to HUD OIG or your local authority you should write a letter giving details of your identity and the suspected crime and perpetrator(s) of it. You can choose to remain anonymous by not divulging any information pertaining to your identity. In any case your identity is not disclosed to the public media or to the person you are reporting against. A confirmation letter is sent to you once your complaint is registered and the investigation process begins immediately.

To report the fraud to the OIG Hotline, use the contact details given below:

HUD OIG Hotline (GFI)
451 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20410
Phone: (800)347-3735
Toll-free Number: 1-800-347-3735
Fax: (202) 708-4829

You can also report the Section 8 housing fraud to your local housing authority. For example, if you are a resident of Los Angeles, you can contact the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACLA) Fraud Unit, the contact details of which are as follows:

The Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles
Fraud Unit
P.O. Box 2129
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Phone Number: (877) 881-7233

The more information you provide while reporting to your local PHA, the more is the possibility of the perpetrators of the fraud getting caught and prosecuted. In case of emergencies you can always dial 911 to get instant help.
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