Is Fraud Worth It?

Do You Realize…

If you commit fraud to obtain public housing, you could be:

  • evicted from your apartment;
  • required to repay all overpaid rental assistance you received;
  • fined up to $10,000;
  • imprisoned for up to five years;
  • prohibited from receiving future assistance;
  • subject to State and local government penalties;

Do You Know…

You are committing fraud, if you sign a form knowing that you provided false or misleading information. The information you provide on housing assistance application and recertification forms will be checked. The local Housing Authority, HUD, or the Office of Inspector General will check the income and asset information you provide with other Federal, State, or local governments, and with private agencies. Certifying false information is fraud.

Be Careful

When completing an application or yearly recertification for public housing, make certain answers to the questions are accurate and honest. You must include:

  • All sources of income and changes in income you or any members of your household receive, such as wages, welfare payments, social security and veterans’ benefits, pensions, or retirement.
  • Any money you receive on behalf of your children, such as child support, AFDC payments, or social security for children.
  • Any increase in income, such as wages from a new job or an expected pay raise or bonus.
  • All assets, such as bank accounts, savings bonds, certificates of deposit, stocks, or real estate, that are owned by you or any member of your household.
  • All income from assets, such as interest from savings and checking accounts, or stock dividends.
  • Any business or asset, including a home or real estate, that you’ve sold in the last two years at less than full value.
  • The names of everyone, adults or children, relatives and non-relatives, who are living with you and make up your household.

Ask Questions

If you don’t understand something on the application or recertification forms, always ask questions. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Watch Out for Housing Assistance Scams

  • Don’t pay money to have someone fill out public housing application and recertification forms for you.
  • Don’t pay money to move up on a waiting list.
  • Don’t pay for anything that is not covered by your lease.
  • Get a receipt for any money you pay.
  • Get a written explanation, if you are required to pay for anything other than rent, maintenance, or utility charges.

Report Fraud

If you know of anyone who provided false information on a public housing application or recertification or if anyone tells you to provide false information, report that person to the HUD Office of Inspector General Hotline.

You can call the Hotline toll-free Monday through Friday, from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm, Eastern Time, at 1-800-347-3735.

You can fax information to (202) 708-4829 or e-mail it to

You can write the Hotline at:

HUD OIG Hotline, GFI
451 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20410