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We audited the Municipality of Carolina’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program as part of our strategic plan, based on the amount of HOME funds approved.  The objectives of the audit were to determine whether HOME-funded activities met program objectives, home buyers complied with HOME’s primary residency requirement for the duration of the period of affordability, and the Municipality maintained a financial management system in compliance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) requirements and reported accurate and supported information in HUD’s Integrated Disbursement and Information System.

The Municipality disbursed HOME funds for three activities that showed signs of slow progress without assurance that the activities would generate the intended benefits.  In addition, it did not ensure that the principal residency requirement was met for the duration of the period of affordability for 35 home buyers.  As a result, HUD had no assurance that more than $8.2 million disbursed for HOME-funded activities met program objectives and fully provided the intended benefits. 

The Municipality’s financial management system did not properly identify the source and application of more than $726,000 in HOME funds and did not support the eligibility of more than $68,000 in program disbursements.  In addition, the Municipality allowed the use of more than $62,000 for ineligible expenditures, did not remit to its treasury account more than $56,000 in unexpended drawdowns, and consistently maintained a high cash balance in its bank account.  As a result, HUD lacked assurance that funds were adequately accounted for, safeguarded, and used for authorized purposes and in accordance with HUD requirements.

The Municipality did not ensure the accuracy of commitments and other information entered into HUD’s information system.  It did not support more than $387,000 in HOME commitments and failed to report more than $233,000 in program income receipts in HUD’s information system.  As a result, HUD had no assurance that the Municipality met HOME program commitment and disbursement requirements.

We recommend that HUD (1) determine the eligibility of more than $8.6 million in unsupported HOME program costs and activities that showed signs of slow progress, (2) deobligate and put to better use more than $387,000 in overstated obligations, (3) require the repayment of more than $62,204 in ineligible expenditures, and (4) remit to its treasury account $56,102 in unexpended funds.