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We audited the State of Louisiana’s Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance program as part of our annual audit plan to review Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery programs.  Our objective was to determine whether the State ensured that it complied with (1) its eligibility requirements for the Homeowner Assistance program and (2) website reporting requirements.

We found that The State did not always ensure that it complied with (1) its eligibility requirements for its Homeowner Assistance program or (2) website reporting requirements.  Specifically, it did not always maintain adequate documentation to support that (1) applicants owned and occupied properties and (2) it considered or completed the elevation of properties when required.  In addition, although it did not affect applicant eligibility, the State did not always maintain adequate and accurate file documentation to support applicant status determinations.  For its website reporting, the State did not always ensure that it posted its quarterly performance reports as required.  This condition occurred because the State did not always follow HUD’s requirements and its own program policies and procedures and did not have adequate policies and procedures.  As a result, the State could not provide reasonable assurance to HUD that it administered its program effectively and efficiently, could not support $515,149 disbursed to applicants, and lacked transparency to the public.

We recommend that HUD require the State to (1) support that it complied with the ownership and occupancy requirements or repay $396,905, (2) support that it complied with the elevation requirements or repay $118,244, (3) implement additional controls and procedures to ensure that adequate and accurate supporting documentation is maintained in its applicant files and all website information is maintained and updated as required.

Recommendations

Key Details
(mouse over or click items for details)
  Open
  Closed
Funds Put to Better Use
Funds Put to Better Use

Recommendations that funds be put to better use estimate funds that could be used more efficiently. For example, recommendations that funds be put to better use could result in reductions in spending, deobligation of funds, or avoidance of unnecessary spending.

Questioned Costs
Questioned Costs

Recommendations with questioned costs identify costs: (A) resulting from an alleged violation of a law, regulation, contract, grant, or other document or agreement governing the use of Federal funds; (B) that are not supported by adequate documentation (also known as an unsupported cost); or (C) that appear unnecessary or unreasonable.

Sensitive
Sensitive

Sensitive information refers to information that could have a damaging import if released to the public and, therefore, must be restricted from public disclosure.

Priority
Priority

We believe these open recommendations, if implemented, will have the greatest impact on helping HUD achieve its mission to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.

Community Planning and Development

  •   2018-FW-1007-001-A
    $396,905.00

    Closed on March 29, 2019

    We recommend that the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs require the State to support that seven applicants met the ownership and occupancy requirements or repay $396,905 to its program from non-Federal funds.

  •   2018-FW-1007-001-B
    $118,244.00

    Closed on March 29, 2019

    We recommend that the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs require the State to support that it complied with the elevation requirements for two applicants or repay $118,244 to its program from non-Federal funds.

  •   2018-FW-1007-001-C

    We recommend that the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs require the State to implement additional controls and revise policies and procedures to ensure that adequate documentation is maintained in its files to support (1) recapture decisions, (2) eligibility related to ownership or occupancy, (3) ineligible decisions, (4) elevation considerations, and (5) mitigation of duplication of benefits issues related to override procedures and incorrect data provided by other agencies.

  •   2018-FW-1007-001-D

    Closed on March 29, 2019

    We recommend that the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs require the State to implement additional controls and revise policies and procedures to ensure that the website is maintained and updated in compliance with requirements.