The Section 8 Housing program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is the federal government’s program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly and the disabled afford safe and decent housing in the private market. Public Housing Agencies (PHAs), administer the federal funding through housing choice vouchers at the local level. Once a renter finds housing that meets the PHA’s minimum standards of health and safety, a subsidy is paid to the landlord on behalf of the renter. The renter is then responsible for paying the difference between the actual rent owed to the landlord and the amount of the subsidy. To determine if an applicant is eligible for the federally funded housing benefit, the PHA collects personal information such as income, assets and current employment. A story reported on nj.com describes the case of a New Jersey man who neglected to tell the truth about his income, while collecting $60,000 in rent subsidies over a five-year period.
The story details how a 32-year-old Newark man’s wife received the subsidies while living rent-free in a multi-family house owned by the husband. (How convenient to live with the landlord.) The couple allegedly agreed to keep this quiet from the Newark Housing Authority (NHA), who administers the program, so authorities say they did not report that the husband was living with the wife and was earning household income. (That would disqualify her from the program.)
The man pleaded guilty to conspiring to fraudulently obtain housing vouchers. He was sentenced to three months behind bars and two years of supervised release. He was also ordered to repay the $60,000. The wife has not been charged, but the investigation is still open.
The man, who was formerly employed in law enforcement, resigned from his job as part of his plea deal. However, it appears that he bounced back quickly and now runs a local courier service. Couriers are known to be quick, so let’s hope he’ll be speedy in paying back the debt he owes to the taxpayers."Living Rent-Free",