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When a Section 8 Tenant Dodges Income

One of the goals of HUD’s RHIIP initiative is to reduce over payments and underpayments which they have done through the Enterprise Income Verification system (EIV).  The creation of the EIV system has really helped in the recovery of HUD funds for those over-payments of HUD subsidy.  My feeling is that the EIV system was not just created because there was no founded need.  There is the old adage “the few spoil it for the bunch”.  In this case I would imagine this would not apply.  Why would HUD implement such a system to access the Department Of Health and Human Services (HHS), National Directory of New Hire Database (NDNH) if it were just for a “few”?  Now that O/A’s have access to this info we find that just having access may not be enough when comes down to some affordable housing tenants attempting to play the system which affords them the opportunity for subsidized housing. It is frustrating for me to see American tax payers who usually don’t mind footing the bill to help people in need but see how their hard earned money is going to subsidized the ones who are hard at work defrauding the system.

A good example is when a Section 8 resident who currently claims that he is a zero income tenant, however, the New Hire Report in EIV shows him working a variety of temporary jobs. In each case he says that he works less than the $200 threshold before moving on to another job.   The tenant further admits that his intent is to get by without reporting anything.

The question then remains how to deal with these “few” (or not so “few”) tenants who live to shirk their responsibilities of appropriately paying 30% of their income towards their subsidized rent.  What can O/A’s do to put an end to this fleecing of our tax dollars?

There are several ways this can be accomplished by a resident.  First of all, if a resident is claiming no job and then gets a job, the resident is required to report. (Assuming Section 8 – See Paragraph 16-a-2 of the lease).  If he is not reporting employment, then that is a lease violation. Refer to your House Rules as to how many times may a resident violate the lease before you institute termination of tenancy.  If he is “got a job, quit a job, got a job” and he is reporting as required, you can review the process for determining income when income is seasonal or irregular as outlined in HUD Handbook 4350.3 R1, C3, Paragraph 5-6.

Since this allows owner/agents to use the best methodology, you might want to be a bit more creative. You can review income more frequently. For example, base his income on income earned in the last three months.  You can review the income calculation every 90 days and adjust accordingly.  Make sure  you are already reviewing his situation every 90 days as recommended (not required) in HUD Handbook 4350.3 R1, C3, Appendix 3.

Be strong in your policies, listen to the horror stories of others and make adjustments to your own policies to prevent others from taking advantage of the opportunities they have been given.  Oh, if you have any questions as to what is to be included or excluded as income, we offer a class for that!  Sign up for our HUD Occupancy ACHP certification class or our two-day class on Tenant  Income, Asset & Expenses.

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