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We audited the Charleston-Kanawha Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher program because (1) it received more than $13.7 million in program funding in fiscal year 2012, (2) it is the largest assisted housing agency in the State of West Virginia, and (3) we had never audited its Housing Choice Voucher program.  The audit objectives were to determine whether the Authority ensured that its Housing Choice Voucher program units met U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing quality standards and whether it applied the appropriate payment standard when calculating housing assistance.  The Authority did not conduct adequate inspections to ensure that its program units met housing quality standards as required.  Of 66 program units statistically selected for inspection, 47 did not meet HUD’s housing quality standards.  Further, 20 of the 47 units were in material noncompliance with housing quality standards.  The Authority disbursed $22,025 in housing assistance payments and received $857 in administrative fees for these 20 units.

Also, the Authority did not always apply the correct payment standard when calculating housing assistance payments.  It made ineligible housing assistance payments totaling $14,505 for 34 tenants that it recertified using its new software program from September 2012 to January 2013.  We recommend that HUD require the Authority to (1) reimburse its program $22,882 from non-Federal funds for the 20 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, thereby ensuring that an estimated $3.2 million in program funds is expended for units that are decent, safe, and sanitary, (3) reimburse its program $14,505 from non-Federal funds for the ineligible overpayment of housing assistance, and (4) ensure that the flaw in its new software program is corrected so that the software program determines the payment standard properly and thereby avoid making overpayments of $228,473 in future housing assistance.