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We audited the Housing Authority of the City of New Haven’s Housing Choice Voucher program based on our risk assessment of the program for the New England region, the size of the Authority’s program, the time lapse since our last audit, and the inherent risk of the program. Our audit objective was to determine whether Authority officials only made eligible housing assistance payments. 

Authority officials made $314,611 in ineligible housing assistance payments from the Housing Choice Voucher program, including $281,929 in retroactive payments and $32,682 in overpayments due to program errors.  Specifically, Authority officials made ineligible retroactive payments using current-year housing assistance funding to pay for prior-year liabilities in violation of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations.  In addition, Authority officials made ineligible housing assistance payments due to program errors, some of which included (1) late processing, (2) failure to notify program participants of housing assistance payment adjustments, (3) making housing assistance payments for the program participant’s portion of the rent, and (4) payments for vacated units.  These deficiencies occurred because Authority officials believed the payments were an eligible use of program funds and they did not always follow HUD’s or their own requirements for administering the program.  As a result, they made $314,611 in ineligible housing assistance payments, and HUD lacked assurance that program funds were used efficiently and effectively.

We recommend that HUD require Authority officials to (1) repay from non-Federal funds the $314,611 used for ineligible housing assistance, and (2) implement internal controls to comply with HUD’s and Authority requirements for administering the program.