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We audited the Housing Authority of the City of Easton, PA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program because (1) we received a complaint alleging that the Authority made improper payments to program participants and a consultant to the Authority inappropriately placed herself on the program waiting list and (2) we had never audited the Authority.  Our audit objective was to determine whether the Authority administered its program in accordance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requirements.  We focused the audit on evaluating the allegations in the complaint and reviewing (1) participant eligibility and selection from the waiting list and (2) the accuracy of and support for housing assistance payments.  The two allegations in the complaint did not have merit.  However, the Authority did not (1) properly administer its waiting list and select tenants from it and (2) perform quarterly interim recertifications for families reporting zero income.  These conditions occurred because the Authority was unaware of some waiting list requirements, lacked procedures to collect and maintain documentation to show that it properly selected applicants from the waiting list, and lacked procedures for performing quarterly interim recertifications for families reporting zero income.  As a result, HUD lacked assurance that applicants were (1) properly placed on the waiting list, (2) fairly awarded preference points, and (3) properly selected from the waiting list.  The Authority also made ineligible housing assistance payments totaling $2,463.  We recommend that HUD direct the Authority to (1) update its administrative plan to clearly define the weights and rankings in its preference system and ensure compliance with residency preference regulations; (2) develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure that it administers its waiting list according to the requirements in its administrative plan, including maintaining documentation to show that it properly selected applicants from the waiting list; (3) develop and implement procedures for recertifying families reporting zero income; and (4) provide documentation to show that the family that received the benefit of the $2,463 overpayment in housing assistance reimbursed the program or repay its program from non-Federal funds for any amount not reimbursed by the family.

Recommendation Status Date Issued Summary
2019-PH-1001-001-A Closed July 30, 2019 Update its administrative plan to ensure compliance with applicable regulations. Minimally, the administrative plan should clearly define the weights and rankings of the preference system and ensure that the residency preference complies with regulations.
2019-PH-1001-001-B Closed July 30, 2019 Reevaluate the cases of the 131 applicants to whom it did not award residency points and award points as appropriate.
2019-PH-1001-001-C Closed July 30, 2019 Update its waiting list as needed after completing corrective action for recommendation 1B.
2019-PH-1001-001-D Closed July 30, 2019 Develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure that it administers its waiting list according to the requirements in its administrative plan, including maintaining documentation to show that it properly selected applicants from the waiting list.
2019-PH-1001-001-E Closed July 30, 2019 Develop and implement procedures for performing quarterly interim recertifications for families reporting zero income.
2019-PH-1001-001-F Closed July 30, 2019 Develop and implement controls to ensure that it follows the procedures it develops and implements to resolve recommendation 1E.
2019-PH-1001-001-G Closed July 30, 2019 Provide documentation to show that the family that received the benefit of the $2,463 overpayment in housing assistance reimbursed the program or repay its program from non-Federal funds for any amount not reimbursed by the family.
2019-PH-1001-001-H Closed July 30, 2019 Provide technical assistance to the Authority to ensure that it properly manages its waiting list, properly uses its preference point system, and selects applicants in accordance with applicable requirements.