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Violations and Vouchers: An Interview with a Section 8 Police Officer

by McKellar Newsom on August 25, 2012 · 51 comments

  
Jenny Wright

An elderly lady answered the door. I caught a glimpse of a couple of kids and sleeping bags on the floor before they hurried to shut the door. I heard fast footsteps as two other bedroom doors slammed shut. In the kitchen, another lady was cooking. Just how many people were living in my 1000 square foot Section 8 rental home with only three people on the lease?

I didn’t know just how bad extra tenants could be until I talked to a Section 8 police officer. Below is an interview with Jenny Wright, a Section 8 Fraud Investigation Supervisor.

Section 8: Fraud Investigations, Violations, and a Few Bits of Advice

How did you become a fraud investigation supervisor?

I was with the police department as a patrol officer. In 2003, our police department here in Chattanooga, Tennessee decided to investigate waste and abuse of assisted units – Section 8 and public housing. I applied for the position and have been working with the housing authority since then. Our Section 8 has its own police department through the housing authority. Not all housing authorities have their own police force.

What types of fraud do you investigate?

Section 8 rents are based on income. If people on assisted rent are working and don’t report their income, they are committing fraud.

What other types of fraud do you see?

Section 8 demands that all people living at a unit need to be disclosed to Section 8. It is fraud if tenants will allow others to live with them and not report this to Section 8.

What are some reasons for the requirement?

To prevent criminals from living in Section 8 homes and to make sure Section 8 tenants aren’t subleasing out part of their home. All tenants receiving Section 8 vouchers must pass a Section 8 background check. Often unreported roommates have criminal backgrounds they want to hide. Also, if a tenant is getting government assistance on rent; they aren’t allowed to get extra rent or utility help from a roommate.

How often do you investigate these types of fraud?

A couple of times a day.

Any other types of fraud?

Sometimes tenants take credit for people who don’t live with them. For example, last week we found a mother with three kids on a Section 8 voucher who had her kids living with the father at a different residence. The tenant was getting credit and a bigger space for people who didn’t even live there.

Who reports fraud to your office?

Landlords, neighbors, angry ex-boyfriends, angry ex-girl friends and human services.

If you want to report someone, what would you do?

Call your local public safety office or housing authority. You can also go to the housing authority and fill out a form.

What else can you report?

Suspicion of drug use, drug dealing, prostitution and really, any crime.

What about abuse of property?

Landlords need to notify the housing authority if they have a Section 8 rental that has been damaged by the tenant. Section 8 needs to know if a tenant isn’t upholding their end of the lease. The most important thing a landlord can do is to enforce a lease. Any violation to a lease has the potential to get a tenant’s voucher terminated. If a landlord takes a tenant to court and sues for damages, let Section 8 know. Document damages with pictures and send the pictures and all documentation to Section 8.

What advice do you give landlords with Section 8 tenants?

1. If you see violations, let the housing authority know. Report issues and enforce leases. Mail tenants notices and cc a copy to Section 8.

2. We run a background check but sometimes let people with a history on the program. Do your own background and credit checks.

3. If you have tenants with extra people in the property, notify Section 8.

4. Go to the Section 8 landlord orientation meetings.

What changes do you predict will happen with Section 8 in the future?

Some say public housing is going away and only vouchers will be given. Others say public housing and vouchers will always remain a dual program.

Any final words?

It’s my opinion that people should take responsibility and be able to get off the program except for the elderly and those who have mental and physical disabilities. It’s hard for me to believe that the 25 year old woman can’t go get a job even if she has kids. We are seeing the program being abused. I’d like to see the people who are abusing Section 8 find somewhere else to go.

Photo: David Laprad – Hamilton County Herald

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Randy Phillips August 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm

What is worse, a section 8 tenant having an unreported relative staying with them and contributing to the house hold or these cops making $40-$50,000 a year and sucking off the system, including the office space and vehicles and retirement benefits etc.? I feel like like Im living in a police state, over taxed, less freedom, these arrogant cops and government are out of control.

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Jim August 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm

You are out of your mind if you start taking Section 8 residents…if you feel you have no other choice, You do, sell the property. Section 8 NEVER works out well. Nice to hear Chattanoga cares enough to put a few Officers on the fraud,,,You could pay the Officers a million a year and not come close to equalling the fraud in this phoney program.

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McKellar Newsom August 28, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Hi Jim,

I’m getting great cash flow out of my Section 8 rentals… mck

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Eris October 9, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Stop believing all of the stereotypes. I have it, and one of my friends had it, but moved and gave up the voucher. We both are neat freaks. Yes, there are some people who don’t care and will ruin a landlord’s property, and they’re filthy. People not on section 8 do the same thing, it’s the person, not the fact that they have a section 8 voucher.

Some landlords will only take section 8 tenants because they know they’ll get their rent on time every month or they can jack the rent up as high as they can just as long as it doesn’t go over section 8 guidelines. So yes, some landlords are just as bad as you think section 8 tenants are.

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Destiny April 12, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Eris,
Thank you so much for leveling the playing field here, or trying at the least. I appreciate individuals that are tall enough to see BOTH sides of the fence. I just received a letter from Section 8, today actually, essentially stating that now (after a 7 year wait) I am at the top of the list and eligible to receive section 8 housing choice vouchers. That being noted, I am a very clean and responsible student and single mother of two boys under the age of 10 years and we are currently sharing a one bedroom space with a family member as no shelters were available when I became single and then homeless; we actually need it and will not be sharing our upcoming section 8 sponsored housing space with anyone nor do I plan to deny my minimum wage part-time income and food stamps to the housing authority. On the other side of the fence, I have been denied apartments due to my past inability to maintain a household on my own and have been literally told by landlords to seek section 8 assistance and return to them for another attempt to rent. My point here is that; although there are those who abuse section 8 and other forms of assistance, there should not be a blanket over all who receive section 8 assistance and landlords should not be exempt from the concept of section 8 abuse. 100% agreed Eris and thanks again!
Dess

Abigail October 29, 2013 at 11:40 am

It is ignorant and discriminatory to assume all people on section 8 are all deadbeat bums who destroy properties. I have been on section 8 for two years now and it has given me the chance to get on my feet. I have hard time finding a job because of a misdemeanor years ago and I have two children and a husband. So we took the opportunity to go to college and I will be graduating with 2 Bachelor’s degrees in the next couple months. I also just started a business and we hope to move out on our own (without section 8 anymore) this spring. Our landlord was just in our house last week and commended us on how clean we have kept the place. We have even done repairs.
There are many people like us who just needed a chance to get on their feet and move on from the program. Don’t let the couple who abuse the program ruin it for those who use it for what it is for.

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McKellar Newsom August 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Randy,
I’m glad to have someone like Jenny Wright out there looking into Section 8 fraud.

mck

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Deanna Munson January 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm

im feeling incarcerated myself on section 8.i am disabled,denied ssd long enough i only qualified for ssi,no settlement benefits for the 13 yrs it took to get the whopping 700$ a month total income i now live on.i have no other way that section 8 to live and its getting more invasive every day.they now increased their inspections to twice a year and they are taking pictures every time claiming its not about the tenant but to assess “fair market rates” only…they arent photographing the apartment at all they are photographing my personal possessions and others in washington county are saying the same.family photos on your wall,my computer desk,my sons tv.none of the apartment,just personal possessions.i now have to disclose 6 months of full bank statements every year that i must print out on a public computer as i cant possibly afford a printer and ink.while they say you will only pay 1/3 your income,they arent taking into consideration that they have driven off most landlords that offer washer n dryers so 50$ a month i pay for laundry in the laundramat here as people with 2-3 bedrooms have their own and 1 bedroom clients have to pay and use the machines that the 2-3 bedroomers use to wash their car mats and dog beds.they are pushing all individual landlords off with ridiculous increased requirements so they can warehouse people in stackem n packem cement units with no access to nature whatsoever for your companion animals.they come in like gestapo if you have a nephew or niece come to stay from out of town for a day or 2,taking any false anonymous complaint from anyone that knows your on housing and thinks your “getting a free ride”.they spend more each year on “authorities” than they do on housing people and illegals get first priority as “refugees”.they can violate you anytime they want and no one oversees them.i can find no help

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D January 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Agree whole heartily with you Randy. Most of them are the dam CROOKS. Why do these gov agencies think ex criminals don’t need somewhere to stay and eat. Low Lives

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Stephen Foster August 25, 2012 at 10:58 pm

As long as a section 8 tenant doesn’t break too much, that’s really all that a landlord should realistically hope for. Having guaranteed payments coming in from the government is a huge advantage. A section 8 tenant that destroys the house isn’t a bargain but if a landlord can find a tenant that doesn’t destroy the house they need to hold onto them.

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McKellar Newsom August 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Hi Stephen,

I build higher turn costs into my numbers when I look at a Section 8 rental. A lot of my Section 8 tenants are stable and stay in my properties for a long time. mck

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Jason August 26, 2012 at 7:40 am

Unfortunately not all sec8 offices are created equal. I wish we had local enforcement officers to go after the fraud. The few times Ive reported it, the reports have not been followed through. Thank you for doing the interview.

@Randy. Your post is off topic and contributes nothing to the conversation. This is a real estate forum. This is not the place for those topics.

Jason

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McKellar Newsom August 28, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Hi Jason,
I agree that the Section 8 office vary wildly. I’m glad we have local law enforcement for the program here.

If you have written a letter and called your Section 8 office to complain and they haven’t followed through, I’d try to find a friend in the system. I like to go to the office and hang out a bit if I have a concern. Between 9-1030 seems to be a busy time and you might just run into some office staff that would give you some suggestions.

Thanks for all your comments. mck

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Dick Rosen August 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm

To me it doesn’t really matter of if they are receiving Section 8 vouchers, other public assistance, child support, whatever… they still need to adhere to the rules of your lease and the landlord needs to enforce their lease. I wish my communities had enforcement of somekind to assist me in enforcing my leases.

Good post, thanks for the interview!

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McKellar Newsom August 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Hi Dick,

“Enforcing your lease” is critical. Jenny also mentioned it a number of times when I interviewed her. Do you live in a large town? They might eventually have one if you do.

Thanks. mck

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Joel August 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm

In my state of GA at least in my areas we do not have a dedicated police enforcement office for section 8.

All of those items listed in the article section 8 tenants do those DAILY.The tenant doesn’t see it as fraud but just working the system to their benefit to get ahead.Not saying it is right just how tenants perceive it.

Sure the young tenant at 25 can work but why in the h$ll would she?? You have to pay for a car and gas to go to work,any income you make they deduct away the food stamp balance,and then you have to pay someone to watch the kids,and you would lose section 8 voucher assistance or it would be offset.

Why work 60 hours a week when you can sit on your as# and have the Government pay for it??

Until the system is fixed none of this crap is going to change.Police enforcement isn’t going to turn it around.That just creates more departments and more money down the toilet and increases government debt.All these Government programs are mainly bloated and redundant.There are some actual people that truly need these services and do not want to be on them. Those are the people we should be helping.

Now the proponents of section 8 will say if the Government will not pay for them to sit on their butt and they have no food or shelter rioting and criminal acts will insue making us a third world country. Our jails will be overrun and crime will increase.The Government will still spend the money just in a different way so the budget won’t go down.With increased crime those that have money will then need to hire security to protect them from all the destitute and starving.

So one way or another I don’t see the money being spent going down.It’s like you plug one hole up and then take your finger off another hole.Not enough fingers and toes to cover all the holes.

Here when you report something to section 8 they simply do not care.They just tell the tenants to move somewhere else.The case workers are overloaded and don’t want anymore problems.If you get a judgement in court it is worthless.Most of these tenants have very low credit scores and do not work so are basically judgement proof unless their financial situation drastically changes.

There are a few good section 8 tenants but are far and few between.When it’s not their money on the line and they aren’t accountable for damages they really don’t care.

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McKellar Newsom August 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Hi Joel,

I’ve thought about the possibility of government budget cuts targeting vouchers. I’m just not sure that will happen anytime soon. Interesting analogy about plugging holes.

Some of the people at our Section 8 office really seem to care; others are just doing a job. I agree the staff is overworked.

I’d like to see the Section 8 program get smaller because the need for it decreases. Wouldn’t we all? What are the chances of that happening? Thanks. mck

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Al Williamson August 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm

McKellar,
Thanks for the investigatory report :^) Glad you brought out that people can report abuse to Section 8. This has been a hammer I’ve used to get the attention of lazy landlords who have an “anything does – just give me rent” attitude.

I would bet there is a correlation between the number of “long term guests” and the amount of disorder on your block. I would also argue that Officer Wright has prevented more serious and more violent crimes by addressing this type of fraud. She is a very cost-effective officer indeed.

We have vouchers here in Sacramento and I’ve recently accepted a family on the program. So far, so good.

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McKellar Newsom September 14, 2012 at 11:44 am

Hi Al,
I am glad the Section 8 program has been working for you. I’m glad to have officers like Jenny Wright out there. Thanks for your comments. mck

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Alicia August 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm

“It’s hard for me to believe that the 25 year old woman can’t go get a job even if she has kids.”

Ever think that maybe that 25 year old woman has a job but it doesn’t pay enough to cover, rent and all other costs that go with raising those kids? That statement was very misinformed and quite frankly, cold. Not everyone on Section 8 is on the program due to not wanting to work. Many of us have worked for many years and simply cannot afford to pay full rent due to low wages and other various reasons. I have held a job since turning 18. I have gone to college and have been with the same company for the past 7 years. Guess what? Haven’t had a raise in 5. There is NO WAY I would be able to afford rent while raising two small children without the Section 8 program. Yes, there are people that abuse and those people should definitely be weeded out. But there are many of us who don’t abuse the system and are so very grateful for the help we can get. This is one of the main things wrong with society these days….so many of us can’t seem to get past judging others.

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Lucas September 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Why should I have to pay for your decision to have two children when you couldn’t afford to feed them? Furthermore, why should I continue to have to pay for them as they grow up since you haven’t capitalized on this amazing opportunity to be supported through your toughest time?
People aren’t taking responsibility for their actions. If someone can’t afford to have children, they shouldn’t have them in the first place and burden the rest of society for their decisions. I know most of you will say it isn’t their fault, and that these children were had at an early age when they didn’t know any better. And you would be right. This is where we are failing by not providing sexual and financial education at a very young age in order to prevent this problem.
Another problem is that the individuals that draw on welfare have succeeded in eliminating the shame that usually follows accepting charity. It’s become commonplace for everyone in these subcultures to be on welfare. Compare this to the dustbowl farmers in the great depression who traveled across the entire country with their family in tow just trying to find work. They didn’t want charity, they didn’t sit down and stick out their hand, they scoured the country in search or work. There are entire generations that have been accepting governement assistance, and none of them have ever left New York. Especially to look for a job. It’s too easy just to stick out your hand.
I definitely agree on a cap for how long a person can draw on Section 8, welfare or any other assistance program. If there is no motivation to improve one’s life, and they keep being rewarded for perpetuating the status quo, why would the attempt to help themselves. As of 1992, here in New York City a woman on welfare with two children would have to get a job paying more than $45,000 a year to earn what she is given on welfare. I can’t imagine what the number would be today. There is no one who is going to give up that amount of money to go to work and actually start contributing to society.

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McKellar Newsom September 14, 2012 at 11:59 am

Hi Lucas,

Thanks for your comments. I agree that sexual and financial education is important.

Having a cap is an interesting idea.

I disagree about the shame. I have met a lot of people on Section 8 and yes some do not appear to feel any shame, but many sincerely wish not to have to rely on others for their housing. I do see a lot of people with a collective depressed type of feeling when working with Section 8 housing. I’m not a counselor and don’t know what can be done to help.

Motivation, a feeling of self-worth and empowerment are needed for many on Section 8.

You seem to have a lot of passion around the whole concept and some creative ideas. Do you work in the field or volunteer? Some critical thinkers trying to solve problems are always needed. mck

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Sharon Klein March 4, 2014 at 10:24 am

The dust bowl? How many people (including children) starved to death because there was no safety net? How many children did not get a proper education because their children were always on the move? How many suffered from mal nutrition? People always look at the “good old days” and pick out just what they want to use to make their point. Myopic and tunnel visioned.

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McKellar Newsom September 14, 2012 at 11:51 am

Hi Alicia,

I am glad to know that Section 8 is working well for you. I know many on the program have true needs. Like you, I’d like to see people who abuse the program not on it.

That said, you mentioned not getting a raise. My suggestion to you here is to be creative with your finances which are both money in and money out. How can you save costs but also how can you earn more? Do you have any interesting ideas of how to raise your income from some passion you have?

What do you do for a living and what are you passionate about? Thanks for your comments. mck

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Sandra March 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Well maybe you should look for another job with higher wages. My neighbor is disabled and she can not get Section 8 but another neighbor in his 40′s who is able to work and is working part time just started receiving Section 8. So someone tell me where is the fairness in that! What is wrong with him gettin a full time job and stop buying his beer everyday and pay his full rent. I’m sorry but there is something wrong with the system.

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Bill January 24, 2014 at 3:15 pm

I realize that I’m posting almost a year and a half late… I agree with you Alicia, Some folks really need the assistance. I am a 53 yr. male and I am homeless (live in my Ford ranger pickup and I’m 6’9″!). My beautiful wife passed away last April 19th. By the world’s standards I have lost everything (all I have left is clothes), I have had to sell all my possessions. I was previously making about $80,000. Now I am on S.S. ($715/MO.). I have polycystic kidney disease (hereditary) , neuropathy in both legs, I have dialysis treatments 3 days/week, 4hrs. each session, I take 90 pills/wk. for blood pressure alone. I have had many complications in the last 4 yrs. and a series of long hospital stays. Just trying to survive on the streets and pay my bills, there is not much left for rent, let alone turning on any utilities. It has also been very cold here in GA lately (6 degrees- 18 degrees.) I am on a special diet and my food stamps run out before end of month. I have no family that I can live with. I want to work part time around dialysis but prefer a place to live first because my treatments drain me and I need rest or I would quickly burn out from work. Except for the last 4 yrs., I have worked my whole life as a diesel mechanic. I can’t do what I love anymore.
Being alone and having no home base and fighting the elements is hard on a disabled man, especially when he can’t sleep in such confined quarters. I hardly slept in months.
I would say that some people need help.
I have lived the fast life, worked hard, gone to school, owned a couple of homes, nice cars, had my hobbies, friends, social life. Until you know what it means to lose your life, It can be difficult to grasp.
My local church and a men’s bible study has given me strength to get thru much hard times lately. When my wife passed, I started to go into depression, but I fought it with all I had. It is still tough to go on, but by God’s grace, I’m gonna’ be ok.

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Alan Mackenthun August 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Unless you’re disabled and legitably unable to work in any capacity, Section 8 aid, food stamps and all other types of assistance should be time boxed to no more than 2 years. Additionally, they should be firmly limited to citizens. It should be quite simple. There’s no excuse for 5+ years living off other hard working peoples taxes.

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McKellar Newsom September 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Hi Alan,

Thanks for your thoughts. I think most would like the people in the program to be able to make a better living to cover their costs.

I don’t actually know what the statistics are for length of vouchers, etc. mck

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Laysha September 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm

@Jason “@Randy. Your post is off topic and contributes nothing to the conversation. This is a real estate forum. This is not the place for those topics.”

I completely disagree with what Randy said about “which is worse” and his comment about the cops making him like he’s in a “police state.” (Unless he’s in Lancaster where the officers did go waaay too ballistic with violation checks, then I totally agree that voucher users’ human rights should never be violated nor should the be harassed inappropriately.) However to think that you could live with such a huge subsidy and have no check-ins for violations is ridiculous. In LA County, major Section 8 violations receive less attention than inane parking infractions. My own feeling is like I’m trapped in the penal colony due to the behavior of the myriad of section-8 violating neighbors in my complex.

However, I totally defend Randy’s right to state his opinion, and I believe within this discussion it’s on topic to discuss the impact of section-8.

Not appropriate for a real estate forum? Come on, Jason, you folks are the ones benefiting from the conveniences, free marketing you get from the lists and making money off of it! Be responsible! Be accountable and don’t give attaboys to your fellow investors based on their net worth so much as their valuable business practices! This voucher program is perpetuating and even encouraging irresponsible, often criminal behavior.

Any landlord with a conscience should consider how important the impact of their choice to accept section-8 tenants should be considered. This consideration should go beyond the scope of how it may impact your own finances. Accepting some responsibility to heavily screen applicants and then to maintain a vigilant watch for violations protects the safety and quality of life for the rest of your tenants.

Tenants are not your inconveniences. We are your CUSTOMERS! You don’t want any feedback as to the affect the management of your residential business is affecting its customers? I’m sure it’s easier to turn a blind eye, put your fingers in your ears and sing “la la la” while you focus on making money and do your best to ignore how your choices may affect other people.

Maybe you “insiders” should have a private forum instead of posting publicly for the rest of us to see. You could bar comments from anyone that’s not in your club? You could all meet in a back room somewhere with the shades closed. Come to think of it, that would be kind of like living how I have to live now that my apartment complex has become rampant with loiterers who will become criminals if they get jobs. I keep my shades down, stare at my own feet to and from my car, and wait for my lease to run out.

So sorry to have taken a few moments out of your money-making time on something as silly as the impact your choices may have on the very neighborhoods in which you invest.

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McKellar Newsom September 14, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Hi Laysha,

Thanks for your comments. mck

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nicole September 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm

i am on section 8 and I am greatful for everything section 8 program and our landlord do for us. I am disabled and I have three children. Some landlords do fill that ALL section 8 tenents are bad and we don’t care of what we have. Well I am here to say that is not true, well not in my case. I am greatful for what God has blessed us with. Our landlord isn’t a slum lord and I call him to let him know when I have the rent money and he will come to the house to get it. He fix things in a timley manner .He will walk around the house to see the up keep and I don’t mind because I know what my purpose is of being a tenent. Providing a nice environment over my childrens head a nice school area. I am all for fraud police cause some people do take advantage of what the governments helps us with They know what the housing authority expects from us we sign paperwork. But there are actually people that are greatful for it. Have a blessed day everyone.

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McKellar Newsom September 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Hi Nicole,

Thanks for your comments. I am glad you have a great landlord and agree that the fraud police help. mck

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Alicia September 15, 2012 at 10:59 am

@Lucas

“Why should I have to pay for your decision to have two children when you couldn’t afford to feed them?”

You do not pay my bills, feed my kids or do anything for me besides sit behind your computer and judge situations which you know nothing about.

Wow, you pay taxes? So do I, buddy. Here’s a little education for ya since you don’t seem to understand where they all go:

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1258

20% Defense and international security assistance

20% Social Security

21% Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP

7% Benefits for Federal Retirees and Veterans

3% Transportation and Infrastructure

2% Science and Medical Research

1% Non-Security International

4% All other

Now, I don’t know how much you pay in taxes or even how much you earn. But if you can read clearly and read the above…do you see where your tax dollars are going to support my children? I pay the same taxes as you and have actually researched into this before jumping onto a high horse as you are doing. A fraction of a cent of the taxes we pay go into Safety Net programs which keep people out of poverty. Other taxes go into paying off the National Debt.

“Furthermore, why should I continue to have to pay for them as they grow up since you haven’t capitalized on this amazing opportunity to be supported through your toughest time?”

Okay, once again you do not pay for anything having to do with my life. I have been employed since 18 years of age. I graduated high school, went on to college and I do have a job and continue to work while paying off my student loan debts. In case you didn’t know….the economy it really sucks right now. I’m very blessed and fortunate to have the job I have now. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pay very well, like most other jobs out there at this time. I would love to be able to go off Section 8 and pay my rent myself without any assistance. This is a huge misconception people like you have. Go do some research and come back when you have gotten some kind of education on this topic. *smh*

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Liz December 11, 2013 at 9:13 am

Forgive me for butting in on your conversation with Lucas but I noticed a communication error in y’all’s posts and hope to rectify it. When Lucas posted “Why should I have to pay for your decision to have two children when you couldn’t feed them?” I think the actual meaning was in an inclusive plural sense…Lucas likely did not mean that he specifically was paying for your specific irresponsible breeding but that he (as someone who has forfeited his own desires to have more kids than he can provide for) is certainly paying for it. I and others who would love to have kids have had to deal with the sad reality that we can’t afford to give them decent lives on our own dimes, so we chose not to have kids that would become a burden on the system through no fault of their own.

You are absolutely correct in stating that the amount of taxes that go for programs such as section 8 is minuscule compared to other government spending but you are overlooking that the “free” money the government gives you to support your irresponsible breeding does come (even at fractions of a cent per tax payer) from OTHER people. Your argument seems to be that it is ok for you to essentially force your neighbors to put a dollar each into a pot and for you to put a dollar in the pot and then take back your dollar plus some portion of your neighbor’s dollar. Why is it anyone else’s responsibility to pay towards putting a roof over your children’s heads? Would the system survive if everyone decided that is a good way to live life? What makes you so special that you should be rewarded with kids and other people who don’t even know you should pick up the tab? When you go out to eat do you just pick whatever expensive restaurant you want and then when the check comes ask the people around you to chip in on your bill? Because that is what you are doing with your housing so you should be honest with yourself.

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shelly depont February 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm

I have made reports to my local office several of times about a tenant in my building she has several different people living with her, and every time they come to inspect they call or send a letter stating she was reported. so she moves them out for a couple of days then has them move back in. shes loud the police are always here for loud music and partying. I don’t know who else to contact cause nothing is being done. I personaly don’t think they should warn them before inspecting a fraud case but I guess that’s just my opinion. PLEASE someone tell me how to go above the local office to make a report.

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tiffany February 21, 2013 at 8:22 pm

I know a female right now abusing section 8 she with charlotte housing authority her baby father been staying with her for a long time now and he is not on her vouchure he has felonys and she has 4 kids she even sells her food stamps and not suppose to be doing that her baby father sells drugs her neighbors even know that the baby father living their if section 8 found out she could lose her vouchure

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Tyler February 21, 2013 at 9:40 pm

I have a neighbor who is sec8 because she doesn’t work and she has a young daughter . The daughter does not live with the mother, the young girl lives with the father. There is also drug deals going on in front of my house. This woman is so lazy that when it snows she will call my house and ask if I can shuvel the mail box because she will be receiving a check… And I refuse to do so because her lack of motivation to be an average citizen. Now my father was left parolized in his right leg due to a spinal surgery. After this man adapted to walking with a walker and assisted devises he went back to work full time. Justifies that people abuse the system on a daily basis. I believe the disabled and elderly should be entitled to government aid. Not someone who is too lazy to go shuvel her mailbox out so she can get her welfare check.

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Danielle May 10, 2013 at 5:14 am

I agree 100%! My mother-in-law is disabled from shattering her hip while working! She has had 23 hip surgeries. She went to get assistance with food and she was advised that she could only get $13.00 a month for food assistance. One of her grandson’s, who is 23, had 3 children by two different women within 2.5 years. He has no job and pays so child support. One of the mother’s…..gets free housing, all of her utilities paid, $900.00 in food stamps (she sells all of them supposedly)….all while she is working as s stripper. DSS has been called multiple times on her and she doesn’t not take care of her child. How is it that she gets all of this free aid when someone who worked most of their life and is truly disabled can only get $13.00? I overheard another young lady speaking about her sister collecting enough food stamps for her three children (all of whom had fathers in jail) that she was able to share them all around the family to pay for others grocery bills and still had hundreds of dollars in stamps left over. She worked a full-time job, co-owns a 4 bedroom house, drives a Tahoe. How is this possible? Our system is totally messed up and something needs to be done about it.

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Rich April 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm

I just saw a case on people’s court where a lady was living in a $1200.00 per month apartment and she was paying $177.00 per month. Taxpayers were paying the rest. My house doesn’t cost $1200 a month. So I work my azz off and pay in full for everything I want, while these people live better than me and work none. I hate what this country has become and what our government has done. Penalizing working people, the same people that followed the rules. We get screwed for following the rules? I’ve had enough. I need to move out of this country. I refuse to have my hard earned money stolen from me, only to have it given to worthless pieces of sh*t. Our government is the enemy. The government took an oath to protect all citizens. They only protect those that will vote for them.

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Nia M. May 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm

I live in a building in Losangeles, Ca and there is a grandmother that has a section 8 voucher in her name. How do i know this? The landlord told me!But she doesn’t live there. Her gangbanging grandson does. And all his friends. I feel scared for my children and myself. Please someone tell me how to report this? Also does Losangeles section 8 have a police section?

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Danielle May 10, 2013 at 5:04 am

I would definately contact the Housing Authority in that area. If the Landlord knows about it then they are in violation as well I am sure. I once had a girl call about renting my house. She flat out told me that she is 20 with two children and gets housing assistance, food assistance, and her utilities are paid. She then said….”my voucher is not enough to pay for the rent so can you reduce your rent $150.00 so I can move in. I have my boyfriend who is going to move in with me, but, I can not report him on my file because he makes way too much money and I would lose my voucher”. I was floored! Not only was she getting over on Section 8…she was trying to get over on me! I reported her. There really needs to be something done about this Section 8/Housing Fraud. If more people would speak up…maybe there would be some change.

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Danielle May 10, 2013 at 4:57 am

Wow. I am currently a Section 8 landlord. This is my first experience and quite possibly my last. Our Section 8 tenant has caused such damage and a huge financial mess for my husband and I. Our experience has been such with a woman with 3 children. She started off with sob stories and that should have been our big clue. She came into the situation complaining that although she was only paying $250 of her rent…she was upset that Section 8 would not allow her to have a 4 bedroom home instead of a 3 bedroom home, and that she didn’t think it was fair that two of her children would have to share a room. Really? Then she whined and had us to reduce our monthly rent $20.00 to accommodate her voucher. We needed to get our house rented so we did that. I have been unemployed from a great job due to layoff for over 2 years. My unemployment runs out this week and I was just offered a job which I had to turn down because I now have to travel back and forth 5 hours to deal with trying to evict her. This woman was collecting $1300.00 a month from her ex, getting Section 8, but, started working making a pretty decent salary. She never reported her income apparently and Section 8 caught up with her. She now owes them thousands of dollars and they are getting ready to kick her off of the program. We knew NOTHING about it…which I fault her and Section 8 for that! Now they are asking us to repay them for money they paid for her for this month, due to a “glitch” in their system. We have already paid bills with that money. On top of that….she claims she has no money…..no longer gets child support because her husband retired from the military (what does that have to do it)…and the job that she just told me she got….and was getting hired permanently laid her off again. So….not only does Section 8 want their money back from us…..they say she owes ALL of her rent and she doesn’t even have part of it according to her. We now have to pay them back almost 600.00 and on top of that pay our mortgage for the month as well as our own living expenses in another state. Section 8 says she is in violation and if she doesn’t pay them almost $1000.00 toward her debt to them they are kicking her off the program. We have taken the first step toward eviction, but, she had the nerve to call us and say…..she thought we would work with her and give her time….and what is she supposed to do when she has three children? My question is….was she thinking about her children when she was lying to Section 8 and causing us so much financial damage? Is she thinking about our expenses as landlords? Of course not…because she feels ENTITLED. How can she possibly think after what she has done…that she can somehow put her rent on “layaway”. This experience has been horrible. I know that everyone is not bad…but, this is ridiculous. I would think that if one is getting assistance that they would do everything they are supposed to do to make sure they are in compliance. Why should landlords have to suffer the brunt of a tenants foolishness? We have spent thousands of dollars working on our house and taking care of things for her and this is the thanks we get. Hopefully we can get a smooth eviction and find a suitable tenant or this house may have to go up for sale.

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Eric Williams May 31, 2013 at 2:10 am

Hello and I have a concern what do I do if my babymama has section 8 and if she’s reporting false name can I report that.

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Section 8 tenant June 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm

There are bad tenants and bad landlords and there are good tenants and good landlords in regards to section 8. I am a good tenant with a scummy landlord. In a nutshell he told me to pay him extra rent money or get out. Thankfully I know my law and my brother is an attorney and we are handling it. However… I still expect to be harassed until I can afford to move out. and as the comments here prove not many good landlords will take section 8. What am I going to do?
a) move to another bad apt with another bad landlord
b) save my money buy a campervan and live with less stress…because most people wont even know I’m inside.

B – I am NOT going through this again.

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Jessen Kane September 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Would someone receive a letter notifying them that there is an investigation open on them? Or would they investigate without notice?

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Horrez September 29, 2013 at 10:50 am

I think it is so sad that bad people mess things up for good people and it is do sad how greedy and foolushand desperate some people act when they receive a blessing.I also think that its sad for people that view all people on section 8 as the same when they don’t know their story.Not everybody is fraudulent, not everybody is a loser that’s on section 8 Anne not every person on section 8 nasty,and wants to really be on section 8 just to received so called handoutsThe real word is Help because not everyone functions like the next.I agree that if you have a husband living with you or a man Then no get your ass off of section 8 and if you. Have a mental disability get you some disability and get off section a and pay your own rent but if you areva single dad or mom just trying to survive then consider it a blessing.overall I think section 8 is a beautiful program and whoever thought of it deserves avgold medal because that is and was very loving anmd one of the kindest things they have ever done for the people of the united states.

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Cheryl September 30, 2013 at 7:20 pm

My husband and I are on Section 8. He is in a wheelchair and taking care of him is pretty much a full time job. Both of us are veterans. So no, not all tenants on Section 8 are destructive freeloaders. There are however some trouble makers in our building. That is totally the Housing Authority’s fault. They allowed a person with 2 strikes to get a voucher because she is on the “Shelter + Care” program, which in my opinion should be abolished or at least changed. In that program they don’t do a criminal background check. This woman is a drug addict, who is at this time active rather than recovering. She is also severely mentally ill, severely enough that she belongs in an institution. This program should be putting people in SROs instead of housing for the elderly or physically disabled. Los Angeles tends to ignore reports, but I will go straight to HUD if I get ignored.

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Leema October 3, 2013 at 2:43 am

How can u be on section 8 and be on welfare as if that is really a income.Isn’t welfare only enough to take care of u and your kids.They definitely aint giving u enough money So how can u even afford rent if u on section 8.Why would u wait for a monthly check when u get your lazy self up and make big time money instead of going broke the minute your get your welfare check.Section 8 should only be for the disable people,and senior citizens.Young people are able to work.They should have a limit time on section 8.Like 5 yrs.

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Jennifer December 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I am 23, a single parent mother of one and I am also a section 8 and welfare recipient. I don’t work but I am a full time student. Section 8 is an extremely beneficial program for those who are trying to progress past their current situation and get on their feet. I have a 3 bedroom voucher valued at $1,800. I’m living in a 5 bedroom home, where I am subleasing 1 room at $450 because I don’t work and the money I receive from welfare isn’t even enough to even get by. I also took this opportunity to allow 4 women in my situation, going to school, struggling, with no support, and barely scraping by to stay with me. We all contribute $100 a month towards rent, utilities and household items and we keep our home in the best condition. No one but myself and my daughter are on the lease. Had it not been for me getting blessed with Section 8 my daughter and I would still be in a shelter and my friends would all be working dead end jobs and possibly not going to college which would keep the cycle of government dependency going. My landlord is 100% ok with what I’m doing all I did was be upfront with him about what my plans were before I moved in and I also pay him $150 extra. I hate being dependent on the government but I also use the government to my fullest advantage. I worked and had a minimum wage job at one point but quit when the county pretty much made sure that the amount that I was making and the amount that I am getting from welfare balanced out to pretty much equal what I was getting when I wasn’t working and my section 8 portion also went up. What was the point of working 40 hours and going to school? When I could just go to school and be at home with my daughter raising her right so she doesn’t end up in the same trap I’m climbing my way out of.

Section 8 should not be so invasive in the recipients lives and recipients should be allowed to have who ever they need or want to live in their homes, even if not on the lease. Reading most of the post it seems a lot of you don’t understand that benefits coming from the government are not really beneficial, it’s a trap that perpetuates a constant cycle, for most already receiving benefits to have to depend on the government and only on the government. The reality of the situation is that the government system doesn’t allow you to be successful unless you are sneaking around the system and manipulating it to work in your benefit. I don’t agree with having all that you need and still leaching off the government but people still do it.

I believe this report was very insightful as to how section 8 functions because had you not posted this I would never have known and now I’m looking into it further in my own city.

Thanks

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Lawrence Blair January 28, 2014 at 10:02 am

I think it is sad that our system is allowing people to abuse section 8 here in Washington State I reported it several times but yet nobody wants to investigate it I know it woman up here who has for strippers living with her paying her rent and got all my kids packed into one room selling her food stamps to buy meth but yet the state won’t help me to get my kids out of that situation

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Claudia Queiro February 28, 2014 at 12:46 am

Hello all. I’m a section 8 caseworker, our Housing Authority office does not have its own police, which perhaps would ve beneficial. Us workers, investigate fraud on a daily basis. I’ve been a worker for about 17 years, I’d like to clarify that not all section 8 participants commit fraud. There are families and individuals that do follow rules. Sadly, the rotten apples are the ones that make the tree look bad. I’ve seen individuals become doctors, lawyers, etc. I hate to say that in reality, there are more bad than good. The government has started prosecuting and yes, we started giving a limit of 5years assistance, unless your permanently disabled or elderly. As a worker, I get very upset when families are notified of rent increasing because they’ve obtained employment quit their jobs right before the effective month.

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