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We audited the Lansing Housing Commission’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program based on our analysis of risk factors related to the public housing agencies in Region 5’s  jurisdiction and the activities included in our 2015 annual audit plan.  Our audit objectives were to determine whether the Commission (1) appropriately calculated housing assistance payments, (2) maintained eligibility documentation required to support the admission and continued occupancy of its program households, and (3) complied with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) and its own Family Self-Sufficiency program requirements.

The Commission did not always comply with HUD’s requirements and its own administrative plan regarding the administration of its program household files.  Specifically, it did not (1) correctly calculate and process housing assistance payments, (2) maintain required eligibility documentation, and (3) conduct interim reexaminations for zero-income households.  As a result, HUD lacked assurance that the Commission used its program funds appropriately.
The Commission also did not appropriately (1) maintain its Family Self-Sufficiency program bank account and (2) extend participants’ contracts of participation.  As a result, it (1) underfunded participants’ escrow accounts and (2) failed to forfeit escrow funds for terminated program participants.  In addition, participants’ escrow balances were not properly supported.

We recommend that the Director of HUD’s Detroit Office of Public and Indian Housing require the Commission to (1) reimburse its program more than $33,000 from non-Federal funds for the ineligible housing assistance payments, (2) support or reimburse its program nearly $93,000 from non-Federal funds for the unsupported payments, (3) pursue repayment or reimburse its program nearly $5,000 from non-Federal funds for the overpayment of housing assistance due to unreported income and discrepancies in the housing assistance payments register, (4) reimburse its households or landlords more than $3,000 for the underpayment of housing assistance, and (5) implement adequate controls to address the findings cited in this audit report.