Enterprise Income Verification (EIV)
Seattle Housing has been using a system developed by the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) to verify income and employment information for applicants and tenants in all of the agency’s rental programs.
The recent changes in HUD regulations regarding citizenship and require Social Security Numbers also made use of this system mandatory for all housing authorities.
The on-line Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) system contains information about employment and income for individuals who participate in HUD rental assistance programs. All public housing agencies are required to use the system.
Because this system is now mandatory, Seattle Housing Authority is changing some policies to conform. (While the Housing Authority would usually have a comment period, because there are no options regarding this policy, there is no official comment period.)
Here are some common questions and answers about EIV:
What information is in EIV and where does it come from?
HUD obtains information about you from a number of sources: public housing authorities, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Information concerning Social Security wages and status and unemployment compensation is included in the database.
HUD is requiring housing authorities to compare the information provided by applicants and residents with information in the EIV database. If the information does not match, the housing authority must work with the applicant or participant to understand why.
What is the EIV information used for?
Primarily, the information is used to:
- Confirm your name, date of birth, and Social Security number with the Social Security Administration.
- Verify your reported income sources and amounts.
- Confirm your participation in just one HUD rental assistance program.
- Confirm whether or not you owe an outstanding debt to any public housing authority.
- Confirm any negative status if, in the past, you moved out of a unit subsidized under a Public Housing or Section 8 program.
- Follow up with you, other adult household members, or your listed emergency contact regarding deceased household members.
EIV will alert Seattle Housing if you or anyone in your household has used a false Social Security number, failed to report complete and accurate income information, or is receiving rental assistance at another address.
EIV will also alert Seattle Housing if you owe an outstanding debt to any Public Housing authority in any state or U.S. territory and any negative status when you voluntarily or involuntarily moved out of a subsidized unit under a Public Housing or Section 8 program. (This information is used to determine your eligibility for rental assistance at the time of application.)
Overall, the purpose of EIV is to identify and prevent fraud within HUD rental assistance programs, so that limited taxpayers' dollars can assist as many eligible families as possible. EIV will help to improve the integrity of HUD rental assistance programs.
Is my consent required in order for information to be obtained about me?
Yes, your consent is required in order for HUD or Seattle Housing Authority to obtain information about you. By law, you are required to sign one or more consent forms. However, if you or any of your adult household members refuse to sign a consent form, your request for initial or continued rental assistance may be denied. You may also be terminated from the HUD rental assistance program.
What are my responsibilities?
As a tenant (participant) of a HUD rental assistance program, you and each adult household member must disclose complete and accurate information to Seattle Housing Authority, including full name, Social Security number, date of birth, and income information.
You must notify Seattle Housing Authority if a household member dies or moves out. You must also obtain Seattle Housing Authority’s prior approval to allow additional family members or friends to move in your home.
What are the penalties for providing false information?
Knowingly providing false, inaccurate, or incomplete information is fraud and a crime.
If you commit fraud, you and your family may be subject to any of the following penalties:
- You may be evicted
- Your rental assistance or subsidy may be terminated
- You may be required to repay rent that you should have paid had you reported your income correctly
- You may be prohibited from receiving future rental assistance for a period of up to 10 years
- You may be prosecuted by the local, state, or federal prosecutor, which may result in your being fined up to $10,000 or serving time in jail or both.
You can protect yourself by following HUD reporting requirements. When completing applications and recertifications, you must include all sources of income you or any member of your household receives.
If you have any questions on whether money you receive should be counted as income or how your rent is determined, ask Seattle Housing Authority. Every time a change occurs in your household income, contact Seattle Housing immediately to determine if this will affect your rental assistance.
What do I do if the EIV information is incorrect?
Sometimes the source of EIV information may make an error when submitting or reporting information about you. If you do not agree with the EIV information, let Seattle Housing Authority know.
If necessary, Seattle Housing will contact the source of the information directly to verify disputed income information, and will help you identify and correct errors.