St. Paul Public Housing Agency
W. Andrew Boss Building
555 Wabasha Street North
Suite 400
St. Paul, Minnesota 55102
(651) 298-5664

Equal Housing Opportunity

Report Fraud

Fraud is wrong -- and most people know it. (And WE want to know about it!)

Fraud is a CRIME, another form of stealing.

It's a FEDERAL CRIME if someone steals money through fraud from a federal program like Public Housing or Section 8 Housing Vouchers. These housing programs receive taxpayers' money through the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development ("HUD") in budgets approved each year by Congress and the President. The St. Paul Public Housing Agency (PHA) uses that money to provide safe, affordable, quality housing to about 20,000 people in St. Paul. We encourage everyone who suspects fraud in our programs to report it, so we can remove people who aren't eligible for the programs and recommend that they be prosecuted.

Anyone who commits fraud in HUD housing programs is stealing and violating the public trust. They are taking money from low-income families and individuals in need who are following the rules, telling the truth when they apply, and often waiting years after that for housing help.

Fraud can include any of these actions, among others:

  • A tenant or housing applicant who lies about their income or family size, or alters official documents to make themselves appear eligible, or to pay less rent.
  • A property owner (landlord) who charges more rent than what's on the lease, so they receive more subsidy or more rent from the tenant than the program allows.
  • A business that overcharges a housing agency for goods or services, or substitutes lower-quality products in place of the promised items.
  • A housing agency employee who takes bribes from housing applicants, contractors, property owners or others in exchange for bypassing the waiting list, or the required contracting process, or inspections.
  • Property owners, contractors, housing employees or others who conspire together to illegally receive housing subsidies for fake properties, etc.

Anyone can report fraud – and everyone should.

We welcome assistance from the general public in discovering fraud, and we will investigate any suspected fraud. The PHA's Commissioners and staff believe in our obligation to uphold the public trust and in our Agency's mission, which includes providing safe, affordable, quality housing to eligible low income families and individuals. Fraud prevention is, and always has been, an integral part of the PHA's values and business model.

The PHA will respond.

If there is enough evidence of wrongdoing, the PHA will take action against whoever is responsible, including applicants, tenants, property owners, contractors, employees or others. In addition to cutting off housing subsidies to tenants or property owners who commit fraud, the PHA will report illegal conduct to HUD, law enforcement agencies or other appropriate agencies. In most cases, however, the PHA cannot report publicly on the progress or outcome of an investigation, due to federal and state privacy laws.

How to Report Fraud to the PHA:

  1. Call the PHA fraud hotline: 651-292-6116
  2. Send the PHA an email: fraud@stpha.org
  3. Send a letter to:
    St. Paul Public Housing Agency
    Attn Executive Assistant - Fraud Reporting
    555 Wabasha St N Suite 400
    St. Paul, MN 55102-1602

How to Report Fraud to HUD:

  1. Housing Subsidy Fraud; Ethics Violations; Bribery:
    Call, fax, email or mail HUD's Office of Inspector General:
    Phone: 1-800-347-3735 (Monday thru Friday 9AM to 3PM EST)
    Fax: 1-202-708-4829
    Email: hotline@hudoig.gov
    Mail: US Dept. of Housing & Urban Development
            Office of Inspector General
            451 7th St SW
            Washington, DC 20410
    Click here to see their website
  2. Other Public Housing or Section 8 Issues:
    Call HUD's Washington Office, Office of Public Housing at 1-800-955-2232
    Click here to see their website

How to Report Fraud Involving Health Care Providers:

Minnesota Department of Human Services
651-431-2650 (or) 1-800-657-3750

How to Report Welfare Fraud (recipients of cash assistance, child care assistance, food support and health care):

Minnesota Department of Human Services
651-431-3968 (or) 1-800-627-9977

How to Report Housing Discrimination:

HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO)
1-800-669-9777
Click here to see their website

If I want to report suspected fraud, what information should I provide?

Please click here to use a preprinted reporting form or include as much of the following information as possible in your email, letter or voice message reporting fraud.

  • WHO (Names, addresses, phone numbers)
  • WHAT (Specific events and evidence; loss to HUD program)
  • WHERE (Location, Address)
  • WHEN (Date, time, frequency)
  • WHY (What benefit did the violator receive?)
  • HOW (What scheme was used?)
  • Include any documentation you have to support the allegation(s). Information that is too vague or cannot be supported can result in a closed report, without any action taken.

Can I remain anonymous?

YES. You may make a report without giving your name or contact information. However, it may be beneficial to do so in case the PHA has additional questions.

What will happen after making a report?

If you give your name and contact information, an investigator or auditor may contact you for additional details. The PHA or HUD will investigate based on whatever information you provide, and then decide if there is enough evidence to take further action. Because of federal and state privacy laws, the PHA and HUD usually cannot tell you whether the investigation is continuing or how the case resolved.

Is Fraud Worth It?

This informative brochure from HUD explains what to expect if you commit fraud to obtain housing. Click here to view the brochure; click here for a Spanish version.

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