Home‎ > ‎


Tenants are tired of finding needles on the ground when children go off to school; afraid about strangers around the property when the manager leaves for the day...

Things you need to know
What kind of housing *what's that?

Protect your identity
1.  Use a cutout.  Asking a RHINO partner agency to make your report can make you anonymous.  (see right hand column)

2.  Use caution in providing telephone or email reports because phone numbers and email addresses may be public records that can be obtained by bad guys.  Maybe avoid using your personal phone or email account when making anonymous complaints to a government agency. 
Sherry on Slumlords of Columbus comments "So, don't be stupid like I did ... hand out business cards with email address (using my full name) and then use that same address for reporting narcotics, trash, etc., etc.!"
Remember that anonymous reports carry less weight than formal reports from credible witnesses (not hearsay).

The basics
 Crime, waste, fraud and abuse can make stable affordable rental housing unacceptable to rental households.

What's going on?

  • Tenants are not afraid to make complaints
    • provide them with ways to make reports.  Start with property manager and work up the ladder of responsibility every time someone fails to address the problem.
    • help tenants generate evidence of criminal activity and/or waste fraud and abuse.  Photos, documents etc.
    • Make sure that tenants understand the risks of making criminal, waste, fraud and abuse complaints (see left column).
  • Tenants are afraid to make complaints
    • see System Change Opportunities (below)
System Change Opportunities
  • Your organization could support a "snitch line" for anonymous reports from tenants.
    • Maybe form a relationship with local law enforcement to pass along "tips" to police
    • Definitely form relationships with housing intermediaries to share tips for them to research
  • Talk to your director, board, legal counsel about how your organization can use knowledge of criminal, waste, fraud and abuse to win "whistleblower" awards that can help support your program.
    • Analyze public records from law enforcement and housing intermediaries to identify where public agencies are failing in their duties to protect health and safety.
Here's an example of an agency stopping crime in a HUD assisted property. 
Social service agency in Ohio received a report that a property manager was asking tenants to disclose the types of prescription meds that they use and where in their apartment these meds were stored.  ONE TENANT OBJECTED that this info was not related to property management.  He told his social worker who made a discreet (not anonymous) report to the Sheriff Department which initiated an investigation of the manager's real motives in identifying the type and locations of these meds.

 Notes & Links

More info at rhino