Outside Section 186
Data Current as of: 8/6/2010
(a)(1) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department of housing and economic development shall direct local housing authorities to:
(i) require an applicant to provide the local housing authority with access to reliable and reasonably obtainable documentation verifying the accuracy of information provided by an applicant on an application form or otherwise necessary at the time of determining final eligibility and qualification; provided, however, that income of applicants shall be verified by the procedure set forth in paragraph (2); provided further, that if the local housing authority has verified any information when making a preliminary determination of eligibility for the applicant, the local housing authority shall reverify that information on its final determination of eligibility and qualification; and provided further, that nonreceipt of requested documentation, without good cause established by the applicant, shall be cause for determining that the applicant is unqualified;
(ii) require an applicant to provide the names and current addresses of all landlords or housing providers for the applicant and the applicant's household members during the 5 years immediately preceding the application to the date of the final determination; provided, however, that if after request the local housing authority has failed to receive a reference from a landlord or a housing provider, it shall notify the applicant of nonreceipt and the local housing authority shall request that the applicant use his best efforts to cause his landlord or housing provider to submit the reference to the local housing authority; provided further, that in the event that the applicant uses his best efforts but is unsuccessful, the applicant shall cooperate with the local housing authority in securing information from other sources relative to the tenancy; and provided further, that nonreceipt of a reference from a landlord or housing provider shall be cause for determining an applicant unqualified unless the applicant can show that he has used best efforts to secure the reference and that he has complied with reasonable requests for cooperation in securing other information;
(iii) obtain criminal offender record information for each applicant and, if necessary, check public records, credit reports, other sources of public information and other reliable sources; provided, however, that the local housing authority may conduct a home visit, which shall be scheduled reasonably in advance; and provided further, that observations by the person making such a visit shall be promptly reduced to writing and placed in the applicant's file; and
(iv) obtain information regarding eligibility or qualification from interviews with the applicant and with others from telephone conversations, letters or other documents and from other oral or written materials; provided, however, that all such information received shall be recorded in the applicant's file, including the date of its receipt, the identity of the source and the person receiving the information.
(2) The local housing authority shall assess financial eligibility by reviewing the applicant's net household income. In reviewing the applicant's financial status, the local housing authority shall assess net household income pursuant to regulations and guidelines promulgated by the department of housing and community development."
(b) The secretary of housing and economic development shall report annually to the senate and house committees on ways and means and the executive office for administration and finance the amount of money recovered by the department from those who received assistance fraudulently and the number of recipients who were issued partial or lifetime disqualifications.