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We audited the Hammond Housing Authority as part of our annual audit plan to review public housing programs.  Our objective was to determine whether the Authority properly administered its U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program in accordance with HUD requirements.

While the Authority properly administered its waiting list and completed housing quality standards inspections at least biennially as required, it did not always ensure housing assistance payments were eligible and its participant files were supported.  Specifically, the Authority did not always use the correct subsidy calculation, ensure a participant’s lease ran concurrently with the housing assistance payment contract, and maintain sufficient documentation to support a participant’s eligibility.  Further, it did not administer its participant repayment agreements in accordance with requirements and properly use HUD’s systems.  These conditions occurred because the Authority did not have adequate written policies and procedures, was not always aware of HUD requirements, and in one instance disregarded HUD requirements.  As a result, it (1) overpaid $4,191; (2) could not support $6,720 in housing subsidy payments; (3) could not support that it used $23,463 in participant repayments correctly; (4) compromised the accuracy of HUD’s database; and (5) could not always provide HUD with reasonable assurance that it administered its program to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse.

We recommend that the Director of HUD’s New Orleans Office of Public Housing require the Authority to (1) reimburse its program $4,191 from non-Federal funds for ineligible housing subsidy payments, (2) support the eligibility of the participant or reimburse $6,720 in housing subsidy payments, (3) support that it correctly used $23,463 in participant repayments, and (4) revise or implement written procedures and controls to address the findings cited in this audit report.