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Baltimore housing officials warn of fake fliers for vouchers

Baltimore housing officials are warning that the city's homeless and others in need are being misled by deceptive fliers offering Section 8 housing vouchers.

The fake fliers are circulating throughout the city, according to statement from the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. The fliers tell people to bring pay stubs, Social Security information and proof of income to the housing office to apply for a program that actually ran out of money last year.

"These claims are not true," the statement from the housing authority says.

Anthony Scott, the deputy director of the housing authority, said someone from another city agency called attention to the fliers. He said several people have called the office inquiring about getting a voucher.

"That's our real concern," Scott said. "We'd hate for people to get this information and then feel as though the housing authority has changed its mind."

He said officials have no idea who produced or is distributing the flier, which he described as typewritten but containing no letterhead or phone numbers.

Officials suspended the federally funded Housing Choice Voucher program last year when funding dried up and new sources of revenue could not be found. The city applied for but did not receive a $10 million federal grant.

The program was to have helped 500 people; about 400 were able to enroll, and they continue to get help. But housing officials couldn't accept any more applicants, and the statement released Friday said they do not know when, or if, the program might be reopened.

The program was part of former Mayor Sheila Dixon's 10-year plan to end homelessness. Officials said it helped keep many people off the streets, and housing officials said that 90 percent of the people who received vouchers were able to remain in their homes.


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