Audit: City's Section 8 voucher program poorly-staffed, struggle - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Audit: City's Section 8 voucher program poorly-staffed, struggles to collect debts

(Image: Hawaii News Now/File) (Image: Hawaii News Now/File)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The city lacks the staff to tackle Section 8 fraud and handle technical infrastructure for the rent subsidy program, according to a new city audit.

The 85-page-audit found that the city has not hired a debt collector to wrangle in $1.5 million in delinquent rent from Section 8 housing tenants.

Meanwhile, the lack of staffing has left holes in fraud detection efforts with no fraud investigator or detection and prevention programs.

Also, the audit said the entire section 8 program is left vulnerable due to the absence of IT administrators to handle and protect sensitive accounts.

In fact, the program is so ill-equipped that all complaints made to the city are handwritten in a composition notebook. 

"As a result of not having formal policies and procedures in place for addressing complaints, DCS (Department of Community Services) cannot document and track complaints related to program fraud, waste, or abuse," the audit said.

More than 3,600 families on Oahu get Section 8 rental vouchers through the city program. 

Applicants cover 30 percent of their rental cost, while the vouchers cover the rest.

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