Attached is the final report on our audit of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (Authority), Richmond, Virginia, Audit Report Number 2008-PH-1006, dated April 15, 2008. Our audit objectives were to determine whether the Authority adequately managed its waiting list, met HUD's lease-up thresholds, and operated its Family Self-Sufficiency program according to HUD requirements. The Authority's Housing Choice Voucher program was significantly underleased.
The Authority's failure to meet HUD's lease-up thresholds resulted in approximately 674 families, in fiscal year 2007, not being housed even though the Authority had $7.6 million in excess program funds. The underutilization occurred because the Authority did not comply with HUD requirements and its own administrative plan, did not properly utilize a waiting list containing over 8,000 families, and experienced significant turnover at both the staff and management level. Consequently, families were denied the opportunity to obtain low-income housing.
The Authority also failed to operate its Family Self-Sufficiency program according to the United States Code, HUD requirements, and its Family Self-Sufficiency action plan. This occurred because the Authority failed to exercise proper supervision and oversight of its Family Self-Sufficiency program and lacked adequate procedures and controls to ensure that federal requirements were appropriately met. As a result, it inappropriately paid $84,009 to program participants when it could not be determined in the files that the participants had successfully met the applicable requirements.
We recommend that the Director of HUD's Baltimore Public Housing Program Hub require the Authority to implement adequate controls and procedures to house as many eligible participants as possible, thereby using approximately $3.4 million more in program funds to house more families. We also recommend that the Authority provide support or reimburse its program $346,432 from nonfederal funds for the unsupported housing assistance payments, reimburse its Family Self-Sufficiency program $84,009 from nonfederal funds for its improper use of contract and program funds, and implement adequate procedures and controls to address the findings cited in this audit report.