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We audited the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis, MD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program because we received a complaint alleging that the Authority (1) ignored discrepancies between income information for applicants and program participants and (2) did not properly administer its program.  Our objective was to determine whether the Authority administered its program in accordance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requirements.  We focused the audit on whether the Authority (1) accurately calculated and maintained support for housing assistance payments, (2) properly administered its waiting list and selected applicants from it, and (3) admitted only eligible applicants.

The allegation regarding the Authority’s ignoring discrepancies between income information for applicants and program participants had no merit.  However, the allegation that the Authority did not always properly administer its program had merit.  Specifically, the Authority did not (1) properly administer its waiting list and select tenants from it and (2) maintain adequate documentation to show that it admitted eligible applicants into its program.  These conditions occurred because the Authority (1) was unaware of some waiting list requirements, (2) lacked controls to ensure that it maintained documentation to show that it properly selected applicants from the waiting list, (3) lacked procedures to ensure that it maintained documentation to show that it admitted eligible families into the program, and (4) did not establish a reasonable timeframe before admitting applicants who had engaged in criminal activity.  As a result, HUD lacked assurance that applicants admitted into the program (1) were properly placed on the waiting list, (2) were selected fairly from the waiting list, and (3) met all eligibility requirements.

We recommend that HUD require the Authority to (1) update its administrative plan to clearly define the weights or rankings of its waiting list preference system; (2) develop and implement controls to ensure that it administers its waiting list according to the requirements in its administrative plan, including maintaining documentation to show that it properly selected applicants from the waiting list; (3) develop and implement procedures to ensure that it maintains documentation to show that it admitted eligible families into the program; and (4) update its administrative plan to establish the timeframe during which an applicant must not have engaged in criminal activity before it will admit the applicant into the program.