We audited Hudson County, NJ’s HOME Investment Partnerships program (HOME) as part of the activities in our annual audit plan. We selected the County based on a risk analysis that considered the amount of funding, the risk score assigned to it by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and our identification of potential issues. Our objective was to determine whether the County committed and disbursed HOME funds in accordance with applicable HUD and Federal requirements.
The County generally committed and disbursed HOME funds in accordance with HUD and Federal requirements. However, it did not always maintain sufficient documentation demonstrating that environmental reviews and environmental review exemptions were completed before committing funds as required and did not ensure that address information in HUD’s Integrated Disbursement and Information System (IDIS) was updated for one activity. This condition occurred because the County’s staff was not familiar with the HUD Environmental Review Online System (HEROS) and overlooked the need for data to be updated in IDIS after purchasing a property. As a result, HUD did not have assurance that the County always completed environmental reviews in a timely manner and maintained accurate information on properties assisted with HOME funds.
We recommend that HUD require the County to strengthen its policies and procedures to ensure that (1) environmental reviews and environmental review exemptions are completed and documented before funds are committed and (2) activity address information in IDIS is current.