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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Inspector General audited the Evanston Wyoming Housing Authority’s public and Indian housing program funds for calendar years 2013-2015.  We initiated this audit in response to a hotline complaint.  The complaint alleged that the Authority used its purchase cards and laundry machine program income to pay for personal expenses, such as remodeling of staff members’ personal residences, gas for nonbusiness miles, and other personal goods and services.  Our objective was to determine whether the Authority spent its HUD capital and operating funds in accordance with Federal rules and regulations and properly accounted for its program income.

The Authority misspent more than $16,000 of its HUD funds and could not support more than $94,000 in additional funds.  It paid for the remodeling of staff residences, fuel for personal miles, meals at restaurants, and other personal costs.  In addition, it did not deposit laundry machine revenue into its bank account or keep records showing how much it earned or how it spent the money.

We recommend that the Director of HUD’s Denver Office of Public and Indian Housing require the Authority to (1) obtain relevant training on HUD programs for all of its employees, management, members of the board of commissioners, and the executive director; (2) develop and implement detailed policies and procedures for its financial management, to include record retention, handling of petty cash, and issuance of checks; (3) develop and implement detailed policies and procedures for the use of its purchase and gas cards; (4) repay HUD for $16,078 in ineligible purchases using non-Federal funds; (5) provide support for $94,685 in purchases, showing that the funds were used for eligible HUD purposes or repay HUD using non-Federal funds; (6) deposit remaining petty cash into the Authority’s bank account and take steps to safeguard its missing Home Depot card; (7) Identify all sources of program income and develop and implement detailed policies and procedures to address collections, tracking, and use of its program income; and (8) determine or estimate how much program income was not deposited into its accounts and reimburse its Federal accounts using non-Federal funds.