Tenant Integrity Program (TIP)

integrity-signIn July 2000, the Ocala Housing Authority (OHA) implemented the Tenant Integrity Program, also known as TIP.   The Tenant Integrity Program is an aggressive program that combats fraud in our rental assistance programs.  The Ocala Housing Authority believes that only qualified and eligible families should receive rental assistance.

In an attempt to end fraudulent activities, residents, participants, landlords and staff are held accountable for the information reported to the Ocala Housing Authority.  The Ocala Housing Authority educates program participants and landlords on HUD regulation and policy of the Ocala Housing Authority, as well as the consequences of their actions.  Participants have a clear understanding that they may be evicted or terminated from our programs, monies owed will be recouped and also the possibility of prosecution, jail time and fines.

The Ocala Housing Authority verifies income through HUD’s Enterprise Income Verification System (EIV) during income reexaminations and reviews EIV generated reports monthly.  The EIV system reduces the amount of under reported and unreported income. The EIV system makes income data available to housing authority’s from one source.  EIV gathers information from Social Security Administration which includes SS, SSI and SSD benefits, wages, unemployment benefits and also provides; new hires reports, employer information and deceased tenant reports.   In addition, the EIV system cross matches social security numbers, birthdates and names of all family members to determine duplicate assistance.  The EIV System continues to improve providing housing authorities with more information annually.

In the Ocala Housing Authority’s efforts to prevent the misuse of HUD federal funds, the Ocala Housing Authority will be turning over fraud files to the U.S. Office of Inspector General for investigation and preparation for prosecution through the State Attorney’s Office.  In addition, Public Housing leases and Section 8 rental assistance will be terminated.

So that the OHA may provide Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) assistance to as many eligible families as possible, all participants in these HUD-sponsored Program must use government funds properly and follow policy requirements. Incidents of fraud, willful misrepresentation, or intent to deceive with regard to these programs are criminal acts.

If a participating landlord is suspected of committing any fraudulent action, the OHA is required to refer the matter to the proper officials for appropriate action. Such a referral could lead to an investigation of the allegation and could result in landlords being accused of a federal crime, as well as being terminated from participating in the program.

Some examples of fraud involving landlords identified by the investigation include the following:

  1. Requiring side payments in excess of family share of the rent. (Any payment in excess of the rent must receive prior approval from the OHA)
  2. Collecting assistance payments for units not occupied by Section 8 tenants (tenants have moved out)
  3. Charging the OHA and Section 8 Tenants a higher rent than other tenants
  4. Bribing Section 8 Program employees
  5. Renting to relativesFraud

Participating landlords are urged to report any violation of the HCV Program immediately. If you know of any violations or fraud committed by other persons, including OHA employees, tenants, or other landlords, please write to:

Ocala Housing Authority

Attention: Tenant Integrity Program (TIP)

PO Box 2468

Ocala, Florida 34478-2468

Since the inception of our TIP program the Ocala housing Authority’s collections continue to grow.  From inception until the present approximately $324,744.00 has been collected.  The Ocala Housing Authority strongly encourages anyone with any knowledge of fraudulent activity regarding our programs to report it our Tenant Integrity Program.