Andrew Abramson, Palm Beach Post
A day after 13 federal agents from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development removed boxes and bags of documents from the West Palm Beach Housing Authority, the authority’s executive director said her office is “clean” and that the agents were looking into the 30 people enrolled in the Section 8 home ownership program.
While most of the 3,000 people in the housing authority’s Section 8 program receive rent vouchers meant for the poor, elderly and disabled, there is also a home ownership program that allows recipients to pay 30 percent of their salary toward their mortgage while the rest is paid by federal dollars.
Laurel Robinson, executive director of the housing authority, said federal agents came with no warning.
“I was somewhat taken aback,” she said. “They wanted to look at the files associated with the Section 8 home ownership program, and I said, ‘sure, no problem.'”
Robinson said the housing authority has never been raided. She said federal HUD agents would come from time to time, to look into individual cases of renters’ fraud.
“It was always about an individual — they’d think that this person had used their voucher illegally,” Robinson said. “We always cooperate. We’re an open book, a governmental entity of complete transparency.”