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We audited the Housing Authority of the County of Stanislaus’ Shelter Plus Care program based on a hotline complaint and concerns expressed by the San Francisco Office of Community Planning and Development regarding the Authority’s lack of documentation to support participant eligibility.  Our objective was to determine whether the Authority documented participant eligibility related to homelessness and disability in accordance with Shelter Plus Care program requirements.

While participants’ disabilities were supported, the complaint had some merit as the Authority did not always adequately document participants’ eligibility related to homelessness in accordance with HUD requirements.  In 1 of the 15 participant files reviewed, the Authority’s documents lacked detail to show that the applicant, who was in transitional housing, originally came from the streets or emergency shelters, an additional requirement stated in the notice of funding availability.  This condition occurred because Authority staff did not fully understand the requirement and thought the service agency referral was sufficient to verify eligibility.  As a result, the Authority could not support that $13,885 in housing assistance payments and any subsequent payments made were for an eligible participant.

We recommend that the Director of HUD’s San Francisco Office of Community Planning and Development require the Authority to provide supporting documentation for $13,885 in housing assistance payments and subsequent payments made for the participant for whom eligibility could not be supported or repay its program from non-Federal funds.