BHA issues Section 8 voucher scam alert

September 7, 2007
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The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) announced last week that it has recently been contacted by a number of people who claim to have purchased Section 8 vouchers. Victims were promised a BHA Section 8 voucher worth thousands of dollars in exchange for a cash payment. However, the vouchers did not exist, and the victims were left stranded without their money and no Section 8 voucher. Information about the illegal scam has been forwarded by the BHA to appropriate federal authorities.

Second 8 vouchers, which provide the holder with a federal housing subsidy to rent in the private market, are not bought and sold, but are obtained only under specific circumstances and directly from the agencies that administer them, like the BHA.

In order to obtain a Section 8 voucher from the BHA, a person must currently be on the BHA’s waiting list and meet certain eligibility criteria. There is absolutely no fee involved. Any claim that a Section 8 voucher costs money is inaccurate and illegal.

The BHA is advising anyone who is approached by someone claiming that they can obtain a BHA Section 8 voucher for a fee to report the offer to the BHA’s legal department at 988-4185 or the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Inspector General’s fraud hot line at 1-800-347-3735 or by e-mail to hotline@hudoig.gov.

Persons who would like to check their status on a BHA waiting list should call 988-4200. The BHA tenant-based Section 8 waiting list was open for new applications during a two-week period only in October, 2006. The BHA is now issuing vouchers to families and individuals who applied during that two-week period. The BHA’s tenant-based Section 8 waiting list is currently closed. However, the authority is currently accepting applications for its public housing program as well as its project-based and moderate rehabilitation Section 8 programs from eligible applicants.

From a Boston Housing Authority press release.

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