The Housing Authority Fraud Unit will follow up on all reported allegations regarding Voucher Program abuse by participant families and property owners, and will refer cases to the Public Assistance Fraud Unit of the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office when criminal investigation is required. A Fraud Allegation form is provided at the bottom of this page.
What constitutes Program fraud?
Here are a few examples:
- Family has additional occupants living in the home without approval from the Housing Authority and owner.
- Family has undeclared income or assets.
- Family uses false documents, such as false birth certificates or marriage licenses.
- Family subleases all or part of the unit.
- Family owns or has interest in the unit.
- Unit is occupied by both the owner and family (exception for Shared Housing)
- Owner charges/collects additional payments from the family not agreed upon in the lease.
- Owner knowingly accepts Housing Authority payments for a vacant unit.
Real Program Fraud Outcomes
In 2009, two defendants, an owner and tenant, pled guilty to felony charges of welfare fraud and grand theft, for activities which took place over a 15 year period with a total overpayment of $212,443. The tenant will receive jail time, 5 years formal probation, and will have to pay back a negotiated settlement of the overpaid funds. The owner will also have to make a restitution payment to the Housing Authority and will receive jail time unless he pays 50% of the overpayment at time of sentencing.
In 2004, a San Jose couple was sentenced to one year in jail and must pay back $82,628 to the Housing Authority for having occupants living in their assisted unit without approval from the Housing Authority or the owner.
Also, in 2004, an owner convicted of fraudulently occupying the assisted unit paid back $96,458 of unentitled assistance to the Housing Authority.
The Housing Authority understands and appreciates that the vast majority of tenants and owners do not abuse the program. However, because there are limited funds for housing assistance, the Housing Authority must ensure that these funds are being used ONLY by those who are legitimately eligible.If you need to report suspected fraud, please call the Fraud Hotline at (408) 993-3000 or print and complete the Fraud Allegation Form below, then mail the form, or drop it off at the Housing Authority at 505 West Julian Street, San Jose, CA 95110. All reports of fraud will be treated as unconfirmed allegations until they have been investigated and verified through independent sources. Allegations will not be investigated unless the person reporting the fraud provides their contact information on the Fraud Allegation Form. In most cases, verified fraud will result in termination of housing assistance and may lead to criminal prosecution.