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We audited Hamilton County’s subrecipient agreement with People Working Cooperatively, Inc. (corporation), for a Community Development Block Grant-funded housing repair services program based on a request from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Columbus Office of Community Planning and Development concerning information the Office received regarding the program, which it did not have the resources to review.  The audit was part of the activities in our fiscal year 2018 annual audit plan.  Our objective was to determine whether the County and corporation complied with HUD’s requirements in the use of Block Grant funds for the program.

The County and corporation did not always comply with HUD’s requirements in the use of Block Grant funds for the program.  Specifically, the County did not ensure that (1) it required the corporation to submit source documentation before providing it with Block Grant funds for housing repair services, (2) it provided the corporation Block Grant funds for eligible program expenses, (3) two households were eligible for assistance under the program, (4) it properly documented compliance with HUD’s environmental review procedures, (5) the corporation notified the County before completing a third emergency repair job for households within a grant year, (6) a member of a household associated with an accessibility modification was disabled, and (7) the corporation reduced all of the program income it received from its invoices for housing repair services.  As a result, more than $10,000 in Block Grant funds was not available for eligible expenses of the program, and HUD and the County lacked assurance that nearly $13,000 in Block Grant funds was used in accordance with HUD’s requirements.
We recommend that the Director of HUD’s Columbus Office of Community Planning and Development require the County to (1) reimburse its Block Grant program from non-Federal funds for inappropriate expenses, (2) support or reimburse its Block Grant program from non-Federal funds for expenses for which the corporation lacked sufficient documentation to support, and (3) implement adequate procedures and controls to address the weaknesses cited in this audit report.