I-TEAM: Changes come to Aiken Housing Authority's website after I-Team investigation

(Source: WRDW)
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Friday, Oct. 4, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

AIKEN, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- Aiken Housing Authority has made a change to its website after our I-Team exposed information for tenants on housing vouchers.

The tenants told us they felt like they're housing hostages.

There are two types housing vouchers: project-based and tenant-based.

Think of tenant-based like a coupon for rent. The housing authority assigns a tenant a "coupon." The tenant finds a landlord who will redeem it. The tenant can use the coupon again when he or she moves into a new place.

With a project-based voucher, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development assigns a voucher to a specific location. A tenant does not take the voucher when he or she moves. A project-based voucher stays with the location and not the tenant.

Some Section 8 tenants told us they could not move because they have project-based. But they don't. HUD told us there is no project-based vouchers in Aiken County.

However, the authority's website stated it did. We brought that up to the board of Aiken Housing Authority during the last meeting.

“If someone does their research and checks Aiken Housing Authority's website, which you assume is legit, it says project-based vouchers, but we know there is no project-based vouchers. You can see why they may be a little confusion why, ‘Oh, I am not allowed to leave,’ when they're being told to and to confirm that it’s on the website,” we said.

“Are you indicating there is something erroneous on the website?” a board member asked.

“Yes,” we said.

“Yes, but we can change that,” a board member said. “That’s no problem.”

We followed up a few days after that meeting and found the incorrect information has been removed from the website.

HUD previously found Aiken Housing Authority in violation for incorrectly coding tenant-based vouchers as project based this spring.

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