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The Duson Housing Authority failed to administer its public housing programs in accordance with HUD regulations and other requirements.  Specifically, it did not maintain (1) its units and property grounds or perform annual unit inspections, (2) auditable files, (3) adequate documentation to support tenant childcare and medical expense deductions and utility allowances, and (4) its waiting list properly.  This condition occurred because the Authority did not have adequate written policies and procedures and the former executive director and the board did not exercise proper oversight of the Authority.  As a result, we could not verify financial data related to tenant rent.  In addition, the Authority’s tenants lived in substandard conditions.  Further, the Authority could not provide reasonable assurance to HUD that it appropriately spent its program funds.

We recommended that HUD require the Authority to (1) conduct a physical needs assessment of the Authority’s project to determine the cost of rehabilitation; (2) develop and implement board-approved written policies and procedures (3) establish a rent collection policy that addresses all payment methods and includes procedures that involve the separation of duties and office reconciliations for rents received; (4) obtain HUD-approved training for its executive director and board of commissioners and (5) update the bylaws governing the board of commissioners and the Authority.  We also recommended that HUD (1) immediately inform the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Field Operations of the property condition and the Authority’s financial ability and willingness to conduct the needed physical needs assessment, (2) place the Authority on a zero dollar threshold (3) consider a referral to HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity for not maintaining the waiting list in accordance with program requirements.  Lastly, we recommended that the Director of the Departmental Enforcement Center consider administrative sanctions against the former executive director and board for the gross mismanagement and poor physical condition of the Authority’s property.