Glendale officials warn of Section 8 housing scam

In the highly competitive world of Section 8 housing assistance, Glendale officials say there have been reports of people promising people a highly coveted voucher in exchange for money.

The suspects, city officials say, have gone so far as opening phony Section 8 application offices and sending people posing as inspectors to a victim’s housing unit.

Qualifying for Section 8 housing assistance requires applicants to meet a strict set of federal income criteria and it is illegal to sell the vouchers, officials warned.

The federal vouchers of between $50 and $700 a month subsidize rent in the private market for households that meet annual income restrictions that range from $17,950 for a single person to $42,700 for a family of four.

Earlier this year, city officials decided to tap into reserves to maintain the roughly 3,050 recipients who currently receive vouchers in Glendale rather than reduce the rolls in tandem with fewer federal dollars as a result of the sequestration cuts. Still, there are roughly 2,500 households on the waiting list, which has been closed since 2001.

While the city was able to move 75 households off the list late last year due to $1-million boost in federal funding, the list is expected to be frozen for some time.

In addition to the fact that true Section 8 assistance cannot be purchased on the black market, city officials this week warned prospective applicants against allowing strangers into their homes to conduct phony inspections. They also warned against turning over personal financial information.

Staff writer Brittany Levine contributed to this report.

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