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We audited the Housing Authority of the City of Hammond, IN’s Housing Choice Voucher program based on the activities included in our 2017 annual audit plan and our analysis of risk factors related to the public housing agencies in Region 5’s jurisdiction.  Our audit objective was to determine whether the Authority correctly calculated housing assistance and utility allowances and appropriately managed its Family Self-Sufficiency program.

The Authority did not always correctly calculate housing assistance payments and utility allowances.  As a result, the Authority overpaid more than $17,000 and underpaid more than $2,200 in housing assistance.  If the Authority does not correct its certification process, it could overpay nearly $33,000 in housing assistance over the next year. 

The Authority also did not always appropriately manage its Family Self-Sufficiency program.  As a result, HUD and the Authority lacked assurance that required documentation was complete and accurate.  In addition, the Authority overpaid more than $25,000 and underpaid nearly $400 in escrow funds, and escrow funds totaling nearly $3,000 were unsupported or overfunded. 

We recommend that the Director of HUD’s Indianapolis Office of Public Housing require the Authority to (1) reimburse its program more than $50,000 from non-Federal funds for the ineligible housing assistance payments and inappropriate escrow disbursements; (2) reimburse the appropriate households nearly $2,600 for underpaid housing assistance and escrow disbursements; (3) support or reimburse its program nearly $3,000 from non-Federal funds for the unsupported escrow disbursements and balances in its general ledger and escrow bank account; (4) ensure that nearly $33,000 in program funds is used effectively over the next year; and (5) implement adequate quality controls to correct the findings cited in this audit report.