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We audited the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) grants as part of our annual audit plan because the Department received more than $57 million in NSP1 and NSP3 funding.  Our audit objective was to determine whether the Department administered its NSP1 and NSP3 grants in accordance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) requirements.

The Department did not administer its NSP1 and NSP3 grants in accordance with HUD’s requirements.  Specifically, it did not deobligate grant funds in a timely manner, reallocate grant funds with proper justification, maintain adequate documentation to support grant expenditures, properly track program income, and ensure that six NSP activities met their national objectives.  These conditions occurred primarily due to a lack of written and implemented policies and procedures.  As a result, the Department (1) allowed more than $417,000 in grant funds to remain unused, (2) improperly reallocated $1.3 million in grant funds, (3) used more than $1.1 million in grant expenditures without adequate supporting documentation, (4) underreported at least $6.1 million in program income to HUD, and (5) drew down more than $11.9 million in grant funds without showing that a national objective was met.

We recommend that the Director of HUD’s Greensboro, NC, Office of Community Planning and Development require the Department to (1) reprogram and put $417,113 in NSP1 funds to better use, (2) support more than $2.4 million or reimburse its NSP grants from non-Federal funds, (3) reconcile and update the NSP program income reported to HUD, and (4) develop and implement a remediation plan to show that national objectives have been met as required to support more than $11.9 million in program funds.  We also recommend that the Director review the Department’s expenditure of the remaining $736,088 in NSP1 grant funding before its drawdowns.