oversight

Housing Authority of Winston-Salem, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General on 2005-08-23.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                                                      U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
                                                      Office of the Inspector General for Audit, Region 4
                                                      Richard B. Russell Federal Building
                                                      75 Spring Street, SW, Room 330
                                                      Atlanta, GA 30303-3388
                                                      (404) 331-3369




August 23, 2005                                                                 MEMORANDUM NO:
                                                                                     2005-AT-1802



MEMORANDUM FOR:               Michael A. Williams, Director, Office of Public Housing, 4FPIH




FROM:          James D. McKay
               Regional Inspector General for Audit, 4AGA

SUBJECT:       Housing Authority of Winston-Salem
               Winston-Salem, North Carolina

                                       INTRODUCTION

As part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of the Inspector
General’s (OIG) strategic plan, we performed an audit survey of the Housing Authority of
Winston-Salem’s (Authority) administration of its Section 8 housing choice voucher program.
We selected the Authority based on several factors including the number of Section 8 and low
rent public housing units and the amount of HUD funding the Authority received. Our survey
objective was to determine whether the Authority properly administered the program. This
review was limited to tenant eligibility and subsidy calculations, program financial operations,
and whether tenants were housed in appropriate sized units.

We did not find any significant deficiencies in these areas during this review. However,
information in HUD’s Public and Indian Housing Information Center (PIC) and the files did not
match for the bedroom sizes. Based on the survey results, we will not perform additional audit
work in these areas. We are continuing to perform survey work of the Authority’s development
activities and have initiated an audit of its Section 8 housing quality standards. The review
results for those areas will be communicated separately as the work is completed.

                               METHODOLOGY AND SCOPE

To accomplish our objective, we reviewed applicable HUD program requirements. We also
interviewed appropriate HUD and Authority management and staff, and reviewed various
records, including 12 tenant files and tenant data maintained in the Authority’s database, Visual
Homes.
Our survey generally covered the period October 1, 2003 through April 30, 2005. However, we
extended the review period as necessary to accomplish our objective. We conducted our survey
during May through July 2005.

                                       BACKGROUND

The Authority was formed in 1941 pursuant to North Carolina Housing Authorities Law. Its
primary objective is to provide safe and sanitary housing to low-income residents in
Winston-Salem. The Authority currently subsidizes about 4,200 families with housing choice
vouchers in the City of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and its vicinity.

Its total calendar year 2005 annual housing assistance payments and administrative fee renewal
funding is about $25 million. A five-member Board of Commissioners governs the Authority.
HUD’s Greensboro, North Carolina, Office of Public Housing oversees the Authority.

                                   RESULTS OF REVIEW

The Authority maintains tenant data in an automated system, Visual Homes. The Authority
uploads the information in Visual Homes to PIC monthly. We compared the voucher size with
the actual bedroom size in PIC with the information in Visual Homes for all 4,115 tenants as of
June 20, 2005. The purpose of the comparison was to determine if any Section 8 participants
were housed in larger units than they were entitled. Our comparison identified 48 Section 8
participants who potentially were over housed according to PIC information. We then compared
the data in PIC with the data maintained in the 48 tenant files. We found that with one exception
the tenants were in the correct sized units in accordance with Housing Choice Voucher Program
Guide Book, Part 5.9. Our review of the one exception showed that the tenant was authorized a
two bedroom unit, but was inappropriately housed in a three bedroom unit. As a result, the
Authority overpaid $472 in subsidy for the tenant during our review period. Our review also
found that the PIC data pertaining to bedroom sizes was incorrect for all 48 files. We provided
the details of the subsidy overpayment and the 48 tenants to the Authority.

Authority staff informed us that its prior Section 8 database did not require the allowable
voucher bedroom size to be entered. The Authority recently converted to the Visual Homes
system, which includes a data field for bedroom size. Authority staff did not enter bedroom size
correctly. Authority staff and management agreed they would be more diligent in verifying the
allowable bedroom size.

                                   RECOMMENDATIONS

We recommend the director of Public and Indian Housing require the Authority to

   1. Correct tenant information in its database for the 48 tenants identified.

   2. Provide assurance it has implemented procedures to ensure tenant bedroom sizes are
      correctly entered in the future.




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In accordance with HUD Handbook 2000.06 REV-3, within 60 days please provide us, for each
recommendation without a management decision, a status report on: (1) the corrective action
taken; (2) the proposed corrective action and the date to be completed; or (3) why action is
considered unnecessary. Additional status reports are required at 90 days and 120 days after
report issuance for any recommendation without a management decision. Also, please furnish us
copies of any correspondence or directives issued because of the audit.

Should you or your staff have any questions, please contact me at (404) 331-3369.




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