Due to a citizen's complaint, we audited the State of Louisiana's (State) Road Home homeowner assistance program managed by the State's contractor, ICF Emergency Management Services, LLC. The complaint raised a potential issue with Road Home employees improperly obtaining grants. During our audit on employee eligibility for additional compensation grants, we identified possible program eligibility issues through a review of the electronic disbursement data. To address the extent of the issues, we developed an additional audit objective to determine eligibility for multiple disbursements made to a single damaged residence address.
We identified 69 property addresses that had two or more Road Home grants for a total of 139 grants. Of the 69 property addresses, 11 received total disbursements that exceeded the overall grant limit of $150,000. The 11 addresses received a total of 22 grants. Of the 22 grants, the State funded eight (36 percent) grants, totaling $735,087 that were either ineligible or unsupported. This condition occurred because the State did not ensure that its contractor had system controls to identify multiple disbursements to a single property address and that its policies and procedures were followed when processing grants and determining eligibility for multiple disbursements. As a result, the State must repay funds disbursed for ineligible grants and support or repay funds disbursed for unsupported grants. Further, although disbursements did not exceed the overall grant limit of $150,000 for the other 58 property addresses, the State must review those 117 grants since a portion of the disbursements may be questionable.
We recommend that HUD's General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development require the State to repay amounts disbursed for ineligible grants to its Road Home program, support or repay amounts disbursed for unsupported grants, and review all of the 117 grants related to multiple disbursements for 58 property addresses to determine eligibility.