The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Inspector General (OIG), audited the Kansas City, MO, Health Department’s Lead Safe KC program due to increased media attention on lead-based paint poisoning in the Kansas City area.  Further, we had never conducted an audit of the more than $21.6 million in grants received by the Health Department since 1997.  Our audit objective was to determine whether the Health Department (1) properly and consistently calculated income for program participants, (2) spent grant funds on items that qualified as lead hazards, (3) properly spent grant funds for relocation of owner-occupants, and (4) properly notified owners in accordance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requirements.

The Health Department (1) did not consistently and correctly calculate annual income for program participants; (2) sometimes replaced windows that did not qualify as lead hazards; (3) did not determine whether relocation was a hardship for owner-occupants; and (4) did not properly notify property owners of lead-based paint disclosure requirements, timely risk assessment results, clearance reports, and ongoing reporting and maintenance recommendations.

We recommend that the Health Department (1) repay $19,173 spent on ineligible assistance; (2) complete a cost breakdown for the $10,731 spent for a rental property, which included assistance to an ineligible unit; (3) recalculate the annual income for participants assisted with the 2014 lead hazard control grant to support the $1.8 million spent and repay the U.S. Treasury from non-Federal funds for any property found to be ineligible; and (4) provide support showing the $79,738 spent on windows replacement qualified or repay the U.S. Treasury from non-Federal funds.

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