Following the Schilling Show’s exclusive report of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) inadvertently exposing an unknown quantity of landlord Social Security Numbers, DHCD has conceded the error.
In a March 25 email to a complainant, DHCD Policy and Legislative Director, Kristen Dahlman, admitted that 11,663 individuals “were affected.”
Mitigation efforts are addressed in Dahlman’s email, as follows:
From: Dahlman, Kristen
Date: March 25, 2022 at 02:42:35 PM
Subject: Fwd: Exposure of landlord social security numbers by your Department of Housing
Thank you for your letter concerning the recent data security incident involving recipients of federal Emergency Rental Assistance. We understand the seriousness of what has happened and want to assure you that we are working quickly and diligently to mitigate any adverse effects.
To that end, please note that we have already taken several of the steps that you suggest in your letter. First, in an effort to mitigate any future harm, we have notified recipients that their social security numbers are at risk, given them advice on how to monitor their credit and accounts, and expressed our deepest regrets for the error. That notification was sent out on March 4, 2022 via email after a prompt investigation. I will forward this to your attention.
Second, DHCD will be offering credit monitoring services through an accredited third-party vendor to those who were affected. This service was mentioned in the aforementioned notification, and an email and hard copy letter will be sent to those who were affected in the future with instructions on how to sign up for the service.
Finally, while we do not have a formal report to provide to you that identifies the number of individuals exposed, we do know that 11,663 people were affected.
Thank you for expressing your concern. We are taking this matter very seriously and sincerely regret any concern or actual harm it has caused you and your family. We also hope that this information is sufficient to address your concerns. Any further questions you may have about potential liability or legal action will need to be referred to DHCD’s Attorney General Representative.
Policy and Legislative Director
Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)