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We audited the Pinellas County Housing Authority’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Program (RAD) conversion to the Section 8 Project-Based Voucher program and compliance after the conversion.  We selected the Authority for review in keeping with the goals of our annual audit plan.  Our objective was to determine whether the Authority administered its RAD conversion in compliance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requirements and complied with HUD’s program requirements for conducting rent reasonableness determinations after conversion.

The Authority generally administered its RAD conversion in accordance with HUD’s requirements for written agreements, project financing sources, the expenditure of HUD funding, tenant occupancy, physical conditions assessments, and requirements for maintaining separate books and records.  However, the Authority did not correctly calculate a relocation rental assistance payment to one tenant because it incorrectly applied utility amounts when calculating relocation assistance.  As a result, it overpaid $4,523 in relocation rental assistance.

The Authority did not fully comply with HUD’s program requirements to use an independent third party after its RAD conversion to perform rent reasonableness determinations for the Authority-owned RAD project.  This condition occurred because the Authority inappropriately determined that it was not necessary to contract with an independent party to perform the service.  As a result, HUD and the Authority lacked assurance that the rent reasonableness determinations were properly conducted.  Subsequent to our audit review, the Authority revised its policies and procedures to adhere to HUD requirements related to the rent reasonableness determinations.

We recommend that the Director of the Office of Recapitalization require the Authority to support that it properly calculated relocation rental assistance payments and if there is an overpayment, reimburse the applicable RAD relocation account.