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We reviewed the Bogalusa Housing Authority’s public housing programs based on the activities included in our annual audit plan and because the Authority has not been audited in more than 15 years.  The objective of our review was to determine whether the Authority administered its public housing programs in accordance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) and its own requirements.

The Authority did not always administer its programs in accordance with HUD’s and its own requirements.  Specifically, for its Public Housing Operating Fund, the Authority did not always (1) follow requirements when procuring services; (2) maintain adequate supporting documentation for disbursements, and (3) track predevelopment costs.  This condition occurred because the Authority (1) did not understand or disregarded requirements, (2) lacked adequate document retention controls, and (3) lacked adequate policies and procedures and staff.  As a result, it could not support more than $200,000 paid in public housing funds.

For its Housing Choice Voucher Program, the Authority did not always (1) correctly calculate participant income, payment standards, or utility allowances; (2) maintain adequate housing assistance payments contracts; and (3) perform annual utility allowance and payment standard reviews.  This condition occurred because the Authority did not understand requirements and lacked processing controls when reviewing participant files.  As a result, it paid more than $29,000 in ineligible, unsupported, overpaid, or underpaid housing assistance and could not provide HUD reasonable assurance that its payment standard amounts, housing assistance payment subsidies, and rents were reasonable.

We recommend that HUD require the Authority (1) support or repay more than $200,000 to its Public Housing Operating Fund, (2) reimburse its Housing Choice Voucher Program more than $25,000 for ineligible and overpayments, (3) support participant eligibility or repay more than $2,000 in housing assistance, (4) reimburse households more than $700 in housing assistance underpayments, (5) implement procedures and controls to ensure that its program funds are administered in accordance with HUD’s and its own requirements, and (6) obtain staff training.