We audited the Westmoreland County Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher program because the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) authorized it more than $8.7 million in program funding per year in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 and we had not audited its program. This is the second of two audit reports on the Authority’s program. Our objectives in this audit were to determine whether the Authority ensured that its Housing Choice Voucher program units met HUD’s housing quality standards and whether it abated housing assistance payments as required
The Authority did not always conduct adequate inspections to ensure that its program units met housing quality standards, and it did not always accurately calculate housing assistance payment abatements. Of 78 program units inspected, 65 did not meet HUD’s housing quality standards. Further, 38 of the 65 were in material noncompliance with housing quality standards. The Authority disbursed $59,524 in housing assistance payments and received $2,930 in administrative fees for these 38 units. We estimate that over the next year, if the Authority does not implement adequate procedures to ensure that its program units meet housing quality standards, HUD will pay more than $4 million in housing assistance for units that materially fail to meet those standards. In addition, the Authority did not always accurately calculate housing assistance payment abatements. It incorrectly calculated the abatement amount for 7 of 18 units reviewed. As a result, it did not abate payments totaling $1,978 for units that did not meet housing quality standards, and it made excessive abatements totaling $71.
We recommend that HUD require the Authority to (1) reimburse its program $62,454 for the 38 units that materially failed to meet HUD’s housing quality standards, (2) implement procedures and controls to ensure that program units meet housing quality standards, and (3) reimburse its program $1,978 for housing assistance payments that should have been abated.