U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government Here’s how you know

The .gov means it’s official.

Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

The site is secure.

The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Document

We audited the Crisfield Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher program because we received a hotline complaint alleging that it misused public housing assets and we had never audited the Authority.  Our audit objective was to determine whether the Authority (1) ensured that families met eligibility requirements, (2) properly admitted families from the waiting list, (3) correctly calculated housing assistance payments and maintained documentation to support the calculations, (4) ensured that confidential information was properly transmitted electronically, and (5) detected and prevented conflict-of-interest situations.  This the first of two reports we will issue on the Authority.  The second report will address its public housing programs.

The Authority did not (1) ensure that families met eligibility requirements, (2) always maintain adequate documentation to show that it properly selected families from its waiting list, (3) always make accurate housing assistance payments and utility reimbursements, (4) always maintain documentation to support housing assistance payments and utility reimbursements, and (5) use the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Enterprise Income Verification system to verify household income.  The Authority also failed to properly safeguard confidential information and detect and prevent conflict-of-interest situations.  These conditions occurred because the Authority did not ensure that the responsible staff member was adequately trained to efficiently administer the program and the executive director did not properly supervise the staff member.  The Authority also lacked controls to detect and prevent conflict-of-interest situations.  As a result, it made ineligible and unsupported housing and utility reimbursements totaling $373,933 and received $42,752 in unsupported administrative fees. 

We recommend that HUD direct the Authority to (1) provide documentation to support $280,561 (housing assistance payments totaling $237,809 and $42,752 in administrative fees) or reimburse its program from non-Federal funds for any funds it cannot support, (2) reimburse $17,101 to its program from non-Federal funds or to the appropriate household for miscalculating housing assistance, and (3) reimburse its program $119,023 from non-Federal funds for ineligible payments it made due to the conflict-of-interest situations.  We also recommend that HUD’s Departmental Enforcement Center evaluate the apparent conflict-of-interest situations in this report and pursue administrative sanctions if warranted.

Recommendation Status Date Issued Summary
2018-PH-1003-001-A Cerrado Marzo 30, 2018 Provide documentation to support $280,561 (housing assistance and utility allowance payments totaling $237,809 for families that did not meet eligibility requirements and $42,752 in administrative fees) or reimburse its program from non-Federal funds for any amounts it cannot support.
2018-PH-1003-001-B Cerrado Marzo 30, 2018 Reimburse its program $17,101 from non-Federal funds for the overpayment of housing assistance and utility allowances to 14 families.
2018-PH-1003-001-C Cerrado Marzo 30, 2018 Reimburse five households $984 from program funds for the underpayment of housing assistance and utility reimbursements due to incorrect calculations.
2018-PH-1003-001-D Cerrado Marzo 30, 2018 Develop and implement procedures and controls to ensure that housing assistance and utility allowance payments are correctly calculated, including the use of the Enterprise Income Verification system to verify household income, and that they are adequately supported.
2018-PH-1003-001-E Cerrado Marzo 30, 2018 Correct the errors in the files identified in this report.
2018-PH-1003-001-F Cerrado Marzo 30, 2018 Develop and implement procedures and controls to ensure that required eligibility documentation is obtained and maintained to support households’ selection from its waiting list and admission to and continued assistance on the program.
2018-PH-1003-001-G Cerrado Marzo 30, 2018 Develop and implement controls to ensure that employees comply with its computer, internet, and email use policy and use only official business email accounts to transmit confidential information.
2018-PH-1003-001-H Cerrado Marzo 30, 2018 Develop and implement controls to ensure that its Section 8 coordinator is adequately trained and supervised to ensure that the program operates in accordance with requirements.
2018-PH-1003-001-I Cerrado Marzo 30, 2018 Follow its administrative plan to ensure that program requirements are met.
2018-PH-1003-001-K Cerrado Marzo 30, 2018 Provide technical assistance to the Authority to ensure that it properly administers its program and that program regulations are met.
2018-PH-1003-001-L Cerrado Marzo 30, 2018 Evaluate the Authority’s email system and its computer, internet, and email use policy to determine whether they provide sufficient safeguards for transmitting and handling confidential information.
2018-PH-1003-002-A Cerrado Marzo 30, 2018 Reimburse its program $119,023 from non-Federal funds for the ineligible housing assistance payments it made due to the conflict-of-interest situation identified by the audit and any additional ineligible housing assistance payments it made outside our review period.
2018-PH-1003-002-B Cerrado Marzo 30, 2018 Develop and implement controls to prevent and detect conflict-of-interest situations.
2018-PH-1003-002-C Cerrado Marzo 30, 2018 Evaluate the apparent conflict-of-interest situation in this report and pursue administrative sanctions if warranted.