oversight

King County Housing Authority, Tukwila, Washington, Section 8 Program Meets HUD Requirements

Published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General on 2006-09-18.

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

                                                                 Issue Date
                                                                     September 18, 2006
                                                                  Audit Report Number
                                                                     2006-SE-1005




TO:        Harlan Stewart, Director, Region X Office of Public Housing, 0APH




FROM:      Joan S. Hobbs, Regional Inspector General for Audit, Region X, 0AGA

SUBJECT: King County Housing Authority, Tukwila, Washington, Section 8 Program
           Meets HUD Requirements


                                   HIGHLIGHTS

 What We Audited and Why

             As part of the Office of Inspector General’s annual audit plan, we audited the
             King County Housing Authority’s (authority) Section 8 program to determine
             whether it administered the program in accordance with U.S. Department of
             Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requirements. We wanted to determine
             whether the authority selected families from the waiting list in accordance with its
             administrative plan, assisted only eligible families, calculated and paid tenant
             subsidies accurately, managed its portability program properly, and ensured that
             assisted units met housing quality standards.


 What We Found


             The authority generally administered its Section 8 program in accordance with
             HUD requirements.
Auditee’s Response


           We held an exit conference on September 18, 2006, and provided them with the
           final report.




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                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

Background and Objectives                                                      4

Results of Audit
      The King County Housing Authority Administers Its Section 8 Program in   5
      Accordance with HUD Requirements.

Scope and Methodology                                                          6

Internal Controls                                                              7




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                        BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES


King County Housing Authority

The King County Housing Authority (authority) is a municipal corporation established in 1939
to provide affordable housing and related services. With an annual consolidated budget of about
$130,000,000, the authority owns and manages 3500 federally subsidized housing units for
families, the elderly, and people with disabilities and administers 8200 vouchers. It also
provides emergency and transitional housing for homeless families and people with special
needs. As a Moving to Work housing authority, it has redesigned its federally funded programs
to respond to local conditions, streamline its operations, and better support the economic self
sufficiency of its residents.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

The Housing Choice Voucher program is the federal government’s major program for helping
very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary
housing in the private market. Participants are free to choose any housing that meets program
requirements. Public housing agencies administer the HUD-funded housing choice vouchers,
and pay a housing subsidy directly to the landlord on behalf of the participating family. Public
housing agencies determine family eligibility based on income and family size and determine the
amount of tenant subsidy. Annually, the agencies verify family income and composition and
ensure that the unit meets minimum housing quality standards.


Our objective was to determine whether the authority operated its tenant-based Section 8
program in accordance with HUD requirements. We wanted to determine whether the authority

1.   Selected families from its waiting list in accordance with its Section 8 administrative plan,
2.   Assisted only eligible families,
3.   Calculated and paid tenant subsidies accurately,
4.   Managed its portability program in accordance with HUD requirements, and
5.   Ensured that assisted units met HUD housing quality standards.




                                                   4
                                  AUDIT RESULTS

The King County Housing Authority Administers Its Section 8 Program
in Accordance with HUD Requirements
The King County Housing Authority (authority) generally administered its Section 8 program in
accordance with HUD requirements. The authority fairly selected families from the waiting list,
ensured only eligible families received assistance, generally calculated and paid the correct
housing assistance payments, properly managed its portability program, and ensured that assisted
units met housing quality standards.



 The authority’s Section 8
 program meets HUD
 requirements


              Based on our review of authority policies and tenant files, we found the authority
              fairly selected applicants from the waiting list and properly determined tenant
              eligibility by ascertaining family, citizenship, criminal background, and income
              status. We also found the authority ensured that the housing assistance payments
              were accurate by obtaining verification of tenant income and expenses, verifying
              that contract rents were reasonable, and calculating the correct housing assistance
              payment amounts. Further, we found the authority made and received the correct
              payments for tenants in its portability program.

              Based on our review of tenant files and inspections of authority administered
              Section 8 units, we found the authority adequately performed housing quality
              standard inspections and required timely correction of inspection discrepancies.

 Conclusion

              The authority generally administered its Section 8 program in accordance with
              HUD requirements. We communicated one immaterial item to the authority by
              separate correspondence.




                                               5
                        SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY

Our review of the authority’s Section 8 program covered the period of July 1, 2005 through June
30, 2006. We conducted our field work in June and July 2006 at the authority’s offices in
Tukwila, Washington.

To accomplish our objectives, we:

   •   reviewed the authority’s Moving to Work Agreement,
   •   reviewed the authority’s Section 8 administrative plan,
   •   interviewed Authority staff,
   •   reviewed authority records,
   •   reviewed 15 tenant files associated with selections from the waiting list,
   •   reviewed 20 tenant files related to portable vouchers,
   •   reviewed 63 tenant files related to determining housing assistance payments,
   •   reviewed 20 tenant files associated with tenant eligibility, and
   •   inspected 10 Section 8 subsidized units and reviewed 15 tenant files related to housing
       quality standards.

We performed our review in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




                                               6
                              INTERNAL CONTROLS

Internal Control is an integral component of an organization’s management that provides
reasonable assurance that the following objectives are being achieved:

   •   Effectiveness and efficiency of operations,
   •   Reliability of financial reporting, and
   •   Compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Internal controls relate to management’s plans, methods, and procedures used to meet its
mission, goals, and objectives. Internal controls include the processes and procedures for
planning, organizing, directing, and controlling program operations. They include the systems
for measuring, reporting, and monitoring program performance.



 Relevant Internal Controls
              We determined the following internal controls were relevant to our audit objectives:

              •       Effectiveness and efficiency of program operations – Policies and
                      procedures that management has implemented to reasonably ensure that a
                      program meets its objectives.

              •       Validity and reliability of data – Policies and procedures that management
                      has implemented to reasonably ensure that valid and reliable data are
                      obtained.

              •       Compliance with laws and regulations – Policies and procedures that
                      management has implemented to reasonably ensure that resources are used
                      consistent with laws and regulations. This includes the Section 8
                      administrative fee that is the subject of the complaint assessment portion of
                      the audit.

              A significant weakness exists if management controls do not provide reasonable
              assurance that the process for planning, organizing, directing, and controlling
              program operations will meet the organization’s objectives.


 Significant Weaknesses


              We assessed the above controls and identified no significant weaknesses.




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