The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Inspector General, audited the City of Joplin, MO’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program because the City was awarded more than $45 million in
CDBG-DR funds in April 2012 and received an additional $113 million in May 2013. We previously audited the City’s CDBG-DR program in 2013 and issued audit report 2014-KC-
1002. At that time, the City had obligated only $50,000 and had spent only $20,280. Our audit objective for this report was to determine whether the City complied with the requirements of Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 in its CDBG-DR program.
The City did not always comply with the requirements of Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 for its CDBG-DR program. It did not always direct employment and other economic opportunities generated from CDBG-DR funding to low- and very low-income persons and the businesses that employed them. In addition, it did not always incorporate the Section 3 clause into its contracts. As a result, the City may have denied low- and very low-income residents and the businesses that employed them more than $2.2 million in economic benefits.
We recommend that the Director of HUD’s Kansas City, KS, Office of Community Planning and Development require the City to develop a checklist or other processes to verify that all contractors implement their Section 3 plans to ensure that the City spends disaster funds in compliance with the requirements to ensure that $2.2 million in CDBG-DR funds are put to better use in the future. We also recommend that the Director of HUD’s Kansas City, KS, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity provide Section 3 technical assistance to the City and monitor the City’s compliance with Section 3 requirements.