Reporting Fraud and Abuse

HCHA is committed to investigating reported violations as they relate to HCHA residents and employees, contractors, subcontractors or any entity receiving funds from HCHA. Additionally, when appropriate, HCHA will ensure that corrective measures are taken to end ongoing violations, recover misspent money due to prior violations, and implement procedures that deter violations from occurring in the first place. The purpose of the fraud hotline is to take reports of fraud, theft, waste, abuse, and misconduct in HCHA-funded programs and operations and refer those allegations of wrongdoing for investigation where sufficient information exists.

Understanding Program Abuse

  • FRAUD: Deceptive practices including, but not limited to, embezzlement, false billing or false representation.
  • THEFT: Intentionally depriving HCHA of goods or services or the unauthorized removal of property, money, or funds from HCHA, its entities, locations or premises.
  • WASTE: Individuals, groups, employees, contractors, vendors, or businesses that are spending taxpayers’ monies in a manner that does not further HCHA’s mission and goals.
  • ABUSE: HCHA officials or HCHA funded local officials whose actions exceed the authority granted to them by HCHA policies and regulations.
  • SERIOUS MISMANAGEMENT: A significant failure by a HCHA program office or program office entity that is due to managerial incompetence or inattention.

How to Contact the Fraud Hotline

  • Call the Fraud Hotline at 713-669-4537
  • Fax the Fraud Hotline at 713-669-4597
  • Email the Fraud Hotline at fraud@hchatexas.org
  • Mail your complaint to:
    Harris County Housing Authority (HCHA) Fraud
    8933 Interchange Drive
    Houston, TX 77054

FAQs

All employees are required to report violations of the law and violations of the HCHA Code of Conduct. Furthermore, ALL citizens have a moral responsibility to report violations to assure that taxpayer money is well spent.
The identities of confidential complainants are not disclosed unless required by the court. However, it is advantageous for HCHA to know the identity of the complainant for follow-up inquiries when an investigation is warranted.
There are several things to keep in mind when reporting fraud, waste, abuse, and serious mismanagement. Immediate reporting is necessary, while facts are still fresh in the mind of the complainant. All reports must, whenever possible, answer the questions who, what, when, where, why, and how.

  • Who was involved? (Names, addresses, phone numbers, if available)
  • What happened? (Summary of events, additional sources of evidence)When did it happen? (Date, time, frequency)
  • Where did it happen? (Location, city, state)
  • Why was it done? (Any known motive of committing such act)
  • How did it happen? (What scheme was used)
  • The most successful cases are those that include supporting documentation. Reports that are too vague or cannot be corroborated can result in a case being closed without any action taken.
  • Be advised that HCHA has exclusive discretion in determining which hotline cases will be investigated. A representative from HCHA will contact you only if additional information is needed for your complaint. HCHA cannot provide you with case status updates or other information while the case is in review. Furthermore, HCHA’s decision to close a case is final without a right to appeal.
A majority of the reports that the Fraud Hotline receives are program-related or administrative matters and do not result in a case being opened. In these situations, we refer the complaint to the appropriate HCHA program office or, when appropriate, to another government agency.
The HCHA Fraud Hotline is a report intake process, and not a customer service center for HCHA and HCHA program offices. HCHA does not investigate cases on allegations that can be addressed through existing complaint resolution mechanisms that provide appeal rights and access to the federal and state court systems. At the discretion of HCHA, cases on disputes that have been or can be addressed through civil proceedings are not opened. HCHA also does not open cases on allegations involving maintenance issues, landlord-tenant disagreements, income calculations for voucher purposes, issues subject to HCHA’s informal hearing process, or personnel issues in HCHA or HCHA funded programs.