News Flash

Executive - Press Release

Posted on: April 15, 2016

County releases information to media, public

New Castle County today is releasing documents and information after media inquiries following false reports that recently claimed confidential Section 8 housing data was breached and its use concealed.

The media sought this information through Freedom of Information Act requests, but we also are sharing the same material via this post – for citizens to see first-hand.

Below, we also have posted information being shared in response to questions reporters submitted directly to county officials.

Our first posted document, however, is a statement from County Executive Thomas P. Gordon.

Dana A. Long remains a full-time Section 8 housing inspector for the county, a post he has held since 2009, following his work earlier that year directing the county Summer Youth Program.

The county has reported the recent media allegation to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, with which the county works cooperatively. The county takes such claims seriously, investigates any and all claims, and would take corrective action to protect Section 8 data.

The county Department of Community Services is authorized by HUD to issue 1,825 vouchers in its Section 8 Tenant-Based Assistance Housing Choice Voucher Program.

The county maintains a variety of Section 8-related information, some of it confidential. Confidential information includes recipients’ names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, income, family information and recertification details. Other Section 8 information may be about the housing, such as details about the unit, landlord and inspection.

The Privacy Act of 1974 requires confidential information not to be released without clients’ written consent, except when it’s used relating to eligibility. The county’s computer and technology policy forbids illegal, unethical, inappropriate or unauthorized use of data in its system, with Section 8 data accessible only by administrators and staff. Review of three years’ data found no unauthorized access.

The Section 8 program inspectors are a full-time county employee and a full-time temporary employee.


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