oversight

The Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority, Steubenville, OH, Did Not Always Ensure That Its Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program Files Complied With HUD's and Its Own Requirements

Published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General on 2015-09-09.

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

         Jefferson Metropolitan Housing
                   Authority,
                Steubenville, OH
          Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program




Office of Audit, Region 5       Audit Report Number: 2015-CH-1004
Chicago, IL                                      September 9, 2015
To:            Kevin J. Laviano, Director of Public and Indian Housing Hub, 5DPH

               //signed//
From:           Kelly Anderson, Regional Inspector General for Audit, Chicago Region, 5AGA
Subject:       The Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority, Steubenville, OH, Did Not
               Always Ensure That Its Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program Files
               Complied With HUD’s and Its Own Requirements


Attached is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Inspector
General’s (OIG) final results of our review of the Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority’s
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.
HUD Handbook 2000.06, REV-4, sets specific timeframes for management decisions on
recommended corrective actions. For each recommendation without a management decision,
please respond and provide status reports in accordance with the HUD Handbook. Please furnish
us copies of any correspondence or directives issued because of the audit.
The Inspector General Act, Title 5 United States Code, section 8M, requires that OIG post its
publicly available reports on the OIG Web site. Accordingly, this report will be posted at
http://www.hudoig.gov.
If you have any questions or comments about this report, please do not hesitate to call me at
(312) 353-7832.
                    Audit Report Number: 2015-CH-1004
                    Date: September 9, 2015

                    The Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority, Steubenville, OH, Did Not
                    Always Ensure That Its Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program Files
                    Complied With HUD’s and Its Own Requirements



Highlights

What We Audited and Why
We audited the Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher
program based on a request from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) and the activities included in our 2015 annual audit plan. Our audit objectives were to
determine whether the Authority (1) appropriately calculated housing assistance payments, (2)
maintained required eligibility documentation to support the admission and continued occupancy
of its program households, and (3) ensured that assisted units were affordable.

What We Found
The Authority did not always ensure that its program files complied with HUD’s requirements
and its own policies. Specifically, it did not (1) correctly calculate housing assistance payments,
(2) maintain required eligibility documentation, and (3) ensure that assisted units were
affordable. As a result of these weaknesses, HUD and the Authority lacked assurance that
program funds were used appropriately. If the Authority does not correct its certification process,
we estimate that it could overpay housing assistance by more than $100,000 over the next year.

What We Recommend
We recommend that the Director of HUD’s Cleveland Office of Public and Indian Housing
require the Authority to (1) reimburse its program more than $25,000 from non-Federal funds for
the ineligible housing assistance payments, (2) support or reimburse its program more than
$421,000 from non-Federal funds for the unsupported payments, (3) reimburse its households
more than $5,400 for the underpayment of housing assistance, and (4) implement adequate
procedures and controls to address the issues cited in this audit report.
Table of Contents
Background and Objectives ....................................................................................3

Results of Audit ........................................................................................................4
         Finding: The Authority Did Not Always Ensure That Its Program Files Complied
         With HUD’s Requirements and Its Own Policies .......................................................... 4

Scope and Methodology ...........................................................................................9

Internal Controls ....................................................................................................11

Appendixes ..............................................................................................................12
         A. Schedule of Questioned Costs and Funds To Be Put to Better Use ...................... 12

         B. Auditee Comments and OIG’s Evaluation ............................................................. 14

         C. Federal and Authority Requirements ..................................................................... 22




                                                            2
Background and Objectives
The Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority is a public housing agency created in 1958 by the
State of Ohio to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing for low-income households. The
Authority is governed by a five-member board of commissioners appointed by elected officials.
The board’s responsibilities include performing duties and functions as required by the
Authority’s bylaws or its rules and regulations. The executive director has supervision over the
administration of the Authority and management over the housing projects of the Authority.

The Authority administers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program funded by the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program provides assistance to low-
and moderate-income individuals seeking decent, safe, and sanitary housing by subsidizing rents
with owners of existing private housing. As of October 20, 2014, the Authority had 818 units
under contract and was authorized to receive nearly $2.5 million in program funds for the fiscal
year.

Our audit objectives were to determine whether the Authority (1) appropriately calculated
housing assistance payments, (2) maintained required eligibility documentation to support the
admission and continued occupancy of its program households, and (3) ensured that assisted
units were affordable.




                                                3
Results of Audit

Finding: The Authority Did Not Always Ensure That Its Program
Files Complied With HUD’s Requirements and Its Own Policies
The Authority did not always ensure that its program household files complied with HUD’s
requirements and its own administrative plan. Specifically, it did not (1) correctly calculate
housing assistance payments, (2) maintain required eligibility documentation, and (3) ensure that
assisted units were affordable. These weaknesses occurred because the Authority lacked
adequate procedures and controls to ensure that housing assistance payments were correctly
calculated and required household eligibility documentation was maintained. As a result, it
overpaid more than $16,000 and underpaid more than $5,000 in housing assistance. In addition,
the Authority was unable to support more than $389,000 in housing assistance payments. Based
on our statistical sample, we estimate that over the next year, the Authority will overpay more
than $101,000 in housing assistance.
The Authority Miscalculated Housing Assistance Payments
We reviewed 85 statistically selected1 certifications for 84 of the Authority’s program household
files to determine whether the Authority correctly calculated housing assistance payments for the
period January 2012 through December 2014. Our review was limited to the information
maintained by the Authority in its household files.
For the 85 certifications, 29 (34 percent) contained incorrectly calculated housing assistance.
The 29 certifications contained one or more of the following deficiencies:

                   20 contained incorrect income calculations,
                   12 contained incorrect utility allowances, and
                   1 contained an incorrect payment standard.

In addition, of the 85 certifications reviewed, 17 contained errors that had no impact on the
housing assistance calculations. These errors included incorrect utility allowances and incorrect
income calculations. Further, the Authority failed to follow its administrative plan for zero
income households; however, the errors had no impact on housing assistance payment
calculations.

The Authority did not properly use program funds when it failed to correctly calculate housing
assistance payments for the 29 certifications in accordance with HUD’s requirements and its
administrative plan. These errors resulted in $16,264 in overpayments and $2,200 in




1
    Our methodology for the statistical sample is explained in the Scope and Methodology section of this audit report.



                                                            4
underpayments of housing assistance. In addition, the Authority had unsupported calculations,
which resulted in $13,777 ($7,273 + $6,504) in unsupported payments of housing assistance.

Because the housing assistance was incorrectly calculated, the Authority inappropriately
received $8,823 in administrative fees. If the Authority does not correct its certification process,
we estimate that it could overpay $101,740 in housing assistance over the next year.2
The Authority Lacked Documentation To Support Households’ Eligibility
We reviewed 84 of the Authority’s household files to determine whether it maintained the
required documentation3 to support the households’ eligibility for the program. All 84 (100
percent) of the household files reviewed were missing 1 or more of the following documents
needed to determine the households’ eligibility:

                80 were missing support that criminal background checks had been performed,
                68 were missing lead-based paint disclosure forms,
                54 were missing appropriate rent reasonableness determinations,
                41 were missing executed leases,
                36 were missing proof that one or more landlords owned the assisted units,
                32 were missing request for tenancy approval forms,
                16 were missing copies of the original applications,
                9 were missing an authorization for release of information,
                5 were missing support for a Social Security number,
                4 were missing citizenship declarations,
                4 were missing full support for household members, and
                1 was missing a housing assistance payments contract.

Because the 84 household files were missing required eligibility documentation, HUD and the
Authority lacked assurance that the households were eligible for the program. As a result,
$375,336 in housing assistance was unsupported. In addition, because there was no support that
the Authority ensured that the household members were eligible for the program in accordance
with HUD’s requirements, $32,172 in administrative fees received by the Authority was
unsupported.

In addition, because the 41 files were missing a copy of the executed lease, we were unable to
determine whether the housing assistance payments contracts were executed in a timely manner.4
The Authority Allowed Households To Move Into Unaffordable Units
The Authority allowed three households to move into units that were not affordable. For these
households, their contributions to rent exceeded the initial maximum of 40 percent of their
adjusted monthly income. According to HUD regulations, the Authority may not execute a



2
  Our methodology for this estimate is explained in the Scope and Methodology section of this audit report.
3
  See appendix C for criteria.
4
  Regulations at 24 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 982.305(c)



                                                          5
housing assistance payments contract until it has determined that the household’s share does not
exceed 40 percent of its monthly adjusted income at the time the family initially occupies a unit.5
The three households made payments toward rent totaling $3,164 in excess of 40 percent of their
adjusted monthly incomes.
The Authority Lacked Adequate Procedures and Controls
The Authority’s housing assistance was incorrectly calculated, and its files were missing the
required eligibility documentation because the Authority lacked adequate procedures and
controls. According to the Authority’s Section 8 director, in addition to performing
reexaminations and issuing new vouchers to households because the Authority was under leased,
the three Section 8 housing specialists also took turns performing housing quality standards
inspections when the Authority’s housing quality standards inspector left. She believed that the
increased workload led to the specialists making errors during the reexamination process. In
addition, the Authority did not perform adequate quality control reviews to ensure that housing
assistance payments were correctly calculated and paid.

The Authority’s Section 8 director also said that the files were missing the required eligibility
documentation because the Authority had not developed a checklist for its staff to use when
completing annual and interim reexaminations. She believed that a checklist would have ensured
that the required documentation was maintained in the files.

As a result of our audit, the Authority’s acting executive director said that he planned to (1)
provide training to housing specialists and (2) implement new policies and procedures to ensure
that household files contain the required eligibility documentation.


Conclusion
The weaknesses described above occurred because the Authority lacked adequate procedures and
controls to ensure that housing assistance payments were correctly calculated and required
household eligibility documentation was maintained. As a result, the Authority overpaid
$16,264 and underpaid $5,364 in housing assistance ($2,200 for miscalculated housing
assistance payments + $3,164 for the households that resided in units that were not affordable).
In addition, it had unsupported housing assistance payments of $389,113 ($7,273 + $6,504 +
$375,336) due to missing documentation supporting housing assistance payment calculations or
household eligibility.
In accordance with 24 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 982.152(d), HUD is permitted to
reduce or offset program administrative fees paid to a public housing agency if it fails to perform
its administrative responsibilities correctly or adequately under the program. The Authority
received $40,995 ($8,823 + $32,172) in program administrative fees related to the inappropriate




5
    Regulations at 24 CFR 982.305(a)




                                                 6
and unsupported housing assistance payments for the 29 program households with incorrectly
calculated housing assistance and 85 program households with missing eligibility
documentation.

If the Authority does not correct its certification process, we estimate that it could overpay
$101,740.6 These funds could be put to better use if proper procedures and controls are put into
place to ensure the accuracy of housing assistance payments.
Recommendations
We recommend that the Director of HUD’s Cleveland Office of Public and Indian Housing
require the Authority to
    1A. Reimburse its program $25,087 ($16,264 in housing assistance payment plus $8,823 in
        associated administrative fees) from non-Federal funds for the overpayment of housing
        assistance due to inappropriate calculations of housing assistance payments.

    1B. Reimburse the appropriate households $2,200 from program funds for the underpayment
        of housing assistance due to inappropriate calculations.

    1C. Support or reimburse its program $414,781 ($375,336 + $7,273 in housing assistance
        payments + $32,172 in associated administrative fees) from non-Federal funds for the
        unsupported payments of housing assistance cited in this finding.

    1D. Support or reimburse the appropriate households $6,504 from non-Federal funds for the
        unsupported payments of housing assistance cited in this finding.

    1E. Reimburse the appropriate households $3,164 from non-Federal funds for the rent
        amounts paid, exceeding 40 percent of their adjusted monthly income, for units that were
        not affordable.

    1F. Review the remaining household files to ensure that additional households do not reside
        in units that are not affordable.

    1G. For households residing in units that are not affordable, renegotiate the rents to the
        owners or require the households to move into units that are affordable.

    1H. Ensure that its staff is trained and familiar with HUD’s regulations and the Authority’s
        policies.

     1I.   Implement procedures and controls to ensure that housing assistance is correctly
           calculated during the examination process to ensure that $101,740 in program funds is
           appropriately used for future payments.



6
    Our methodology for this estimate is explained in the Scope and Methodology section of this audit report.



                                                            7
1J.   Implement adequate procedures and controls to ensure that required eligibility
      documentation is obtained and maintained to support households’ admission to and
      continued assistance on the program.




                                             8
Scope and Methodology
We performed our onsite audit work between January and July 2015 at the Authority’s main
office located at 815 North 6th Avenue, Steubenville, OH. The audit covered the period
December 1, 2012, through November 30, 2014, but was expanded as determined necessary.

To accomplish our review objective, we interviewed HUD program staff and the Authority’s
employees. In addition, we obtained and reviewed the following:
        Applicable laws; HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR Parts 5, 982, and 984; Office of Public
         and Indian Housing notices; and HUD’s Guidebook 7420.10G.

        The Authority’s program administrative plans, created November 2012; annual audited
         financial statements for 2011, 2012, and 2013; accounting records; bank statements;
         policies and procedures; board meeting minutes for December 2012 through November
         2014; payment standards; household and landlord reports and housing assistance
         payment register; and HUD’s fair market rents.


We statistically selected a stratified random sample of 85 monthly housing assistance payments7
from the Authority’s 14,956 monthly disbursements to landlords from December 2012 through
November 2014 (24 months). Based on the 85 randomly selected housing assistance payments
from the audit universe of 14,956 housing assistance payments, we found that the overpayment
per household was an average of $14.8 Projecting this amount to the audit universe of 14,956
housing assistance payments, the overpayments totaled more than $200,000. Deducting for
statistical variance to accommodate the uncertainties inherent in statistical sampling, we can
state, with a confidence interval of 95 percent, that at least $203,481 in housing assistance in the
universe was overpaid. Over the next year, this is equivalent to an additional overpayment of
$101,740 ($203,481 x 12 months / 24 months) in housing assistance. Due to the low percentage
of underpayment errors, underpayment projections were not reported in our statistical sampling
results.
The calculation of administrative fees was based on HUD’s administrative fee per household
month for the Authority. The fees were considered inappropriately received for each month in
which the housing assistance was incorrectly paid and household eligibility was
unsupported. We limited the inappropriate administrative fees to the amounts of housing
assistance payment calculation errors for the household files that contained administrative fees
exceeding the housing assistance payment errors.



7
  The 85 monthly housing assistance payments were from the 85 household certifications, which represented 84
households.
8
  This amount was rounded for reporting purposes.



                                                        9
We relied in part on data maintained by the Authority. Although we did not perform a detailed
assessment of the reliability of the data, we performed a minimal level of testing and found the
data to be adequately reliable for our purposes. We provided our review results and supporting
schedules to the Director of HUD’s Cleveland Office of Public and Indian Housing and the
Authority’s acting executive director during the audit.
We conducted the audit in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate
evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit
objective(s). We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings
and conclusions based on our audit objectives.




                                                10
Internal Controls
Internal control is a process adopted by those charged with governance and management,
designed to provide reasonable assurance about the achievement of the organization’s mission,
goals, and objectives with regard to

   Effectiveness and efficiency of operations,
   Reliability of financial reporting, and
   Compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Internal controls comprise the plans, policies, methods, and procedures used to meet the
organization’s mission, goals, and objectives. Internal controls include the processes and
procedures for planning, organizing, directing, and controlling program operations as well as the
systems for measuring, reporting, and monitoring program performance.
Relevant Internal Controls
We determined that the following internal controls were relevant to our audit objectives:

   Effectiveness and efficiency of operations – Policies and procedures that management has
    implemented to reasonably ensure that a program meets its objectives.
   Reliability of financial reporting – Policies and procedures that management has
    implemented to reasonably ensure that valid and reliable data are obtained, maintained, and
    fairly disclosed in reports.
   Compliance with applicable laws and regulations – Policies and procedures that management
    has implemented to reasonably ensure that resource use is consistent with laws and
    regulations.
We assessed the relevant controls identified above.
A deficiency in internal control exists when the design or operation of a control does not allow
management or employees, in the normal course of performing their assigned functions, the
reasonable opportunity to prevent, detect, or correct (1) impairments to effectiveness or
efficiency of operations, (2) misstatements in financial or performance information, or (3)
violations of laws and regulations on a timely basis.
Significant Deficiency
Based on our review, we believe that the following item is a significant deficiency:

   The Authority lacked a sufficient understanding of HUD’s requirements and failed to
    implement an adequate quality control process to ensure that housing assistance payments
    were correctly calculated and household eligibility documentation was maintained (see
    finding).




                                                  11
Appendixes

Appendix A


           Schedule of Questioned Costs and Funds To Be Put to Better Use
     Recommendation                                                  Funds to be put
         number              Ineligible 1/      Unsupported 2/       to better use 3/
           1A                    $25,087
             1B                                                              $2,200
             1C                                      $414,781
             1D                                          6,504
             1E                                                               3,164
             1I                                                           $101,740
            Total                $25,087             $421,285             $107,104


1/   Ineligible costs are costs charged to a HUD-financed or HUD-insured program or activity
     that the auditor believes are not allowable by law; contract; or Federal, State, or local
     policies or regulations.
2/   Unsupported costs are those costs charged to a HUD-financed or HUD-insured program
     or activity when we cannot determine eligibility at the time of the audit. Unsupported
     costs require a decision by HUD program officials. This decision, in addition to
     obtaining supporting documentation, might involve a legal interpretation or clarification
     of departmental policies and procedures.
3/   Recommendations that funds be put to better use are estimates of amounts that could be
     used more efficiently if an Office of Inspector General (OIG) recommendation is
     implemented. These amounts include reductions in outlays, deobligation of funds,
     withdrawal of interest, costs not incurred by implementing recommended improvements,
     avoidance of unnecessary expenditures noted in preaward reviews, and any other savings
     that are specifically identified. In this instance, if the Authority implements our
     recommendations, it will (1) ensure that funds are available to provide assistance to
     eligible families and (2) stop incurring program costs for the overpayment and
     underpayment of housing assistance and, instead, will spend those funds in accordance
     with HUD’s requirements and the Authority’s program administrative plan. Once the



                                              12
Authority improves its controls, this will be a recurring benefit. Our estimate reflects
only the initial year of this benefit.




                                          13
Appendix B
             Auditee Comments and OIG’s Evaluation



Ref to OIG    Auditee Comments
Evaluation




Comment 1




Comment 2




                               14
Ref to OIG   Auditee Comments
Evaluation




Comment 3


Comment 4




Comment 5




                            15
Ref to OIG   Auditee Comments
Evaluation




Comment 6


Comment 7


Comment 8




Comment 9




                            16
Ref to OIG   Auditee Comments
Evaluation




Comment 10




Comment 11




Comment 12




                            17
Ref to OIG   Auditee Comments
Evaluation




Comment 13




                            18
                          OIG Evaluation of Auditee Comments


Comment 1   The Authority asserts that it had points of clarification regarding the findings in
            the audit report. However, the Authority did not provide documentation to
            support its assertions. The Authority should work with HUD to resolve the
            recommendations.
Comment 2   The Authority agreed that not all if its housing assistance payments calculations
            were completed correctly; however, the depth of the incorrect payments was not
            as severe as initially calculated by the OIG. The Authority did not provide
            documentation to support its assertions. The Authority should work with HUD to
            resolve the recommendations.
Comment 3   The Authority stated that it was conducting an analysis of the over and under
            payments and that once its analysis was done it would respond to the
            recommendations and promptly address financial discrepancies. The Authority
            should work with HUD to ensure its analysis is thorough and that the appropriate
            actions are taken to address the findings cited in this audit report.
Comment 4   The Authority asserts that after initial tenancy it was only required to maintain
            rent reasonableness documentation for a 3 year period. HUD’s regulations at 24
            CFR 982.158(f)(7) states that the Authority must retain the records to document
            the basis for its determination that rent to the owner is a reasonable rent (initially
            and during the term of a housing assistance payments contract) for at least 3
            years. Therefore, the requirement includes the term of an active housing
            assistance payments contract, and 3 years after the contract is terminated.

Comment 5   The Authority agreed that it did not execute its housing assistance payments
            contracts within 60 days of the beginning of the lease term. HUD’s regulations at
            24 CFR 982.305(c)(4) state that any housing assistance payments contract
            executed after the 60 day period is void, and the Authority may not pay any
            housing assistance payment to the owner. The Authority should work with HUD
            to ensure its housing assistance payments contracts are executed in a timely
            manner.

Comment 6   The Authority agreed that there were households paying rents above HUD’s
            affordability thresholds, however, it did not agree with the amount cited in this
            report. The Authority did not provide documentation to support its assertion.
Comment 7   The Authority contends that renegotiating rents or requiring households to move
            out of units that do not meet HUD’s affordability requirements was an undue
            burden to the households and owners. HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR
            982.305(a)(5) state that the Authority may not give approval for the family of the
            assisted tenancy, or execute a housing assistance payments contract, until it has
            determined at the time a family initially receives tenant-based assistance for
            occupancy of a dwelling unit, and where the gross rent of the unit exceeds the


                                               19
              applicable payment standard for the family, the family share does not exceed 40
              percent of the family's monthly adjusted income. Therefore the Authority should
              not have approved the households to move into units that were not affordable.
              The Authority should work with HUD to determine the least burdensome actions
              for the families and owners and should provide HUD documentation of the steps
              taken to renegotiate the rents to owners, and any other actions HUD approves,
              before requiring households to move.
Comment 8     The Authority asserts that it had developed a tool to verify initial occupancy
              affordability and that the housing choice voucher program director would perform
              a secondary affordability review. We commend the Authority for updating its
              policies in an effort to resolve the recommendation. The Authority should work
              with HUD to ensure its updated policies are fully implemented.
Comment 9     The Authority agreed that its lack of program knowledge and understanding led to
              many of the findings in the audit report and has contracted with Nan McKay and
              Associates for training. We commend the Authority for implementing a training
              plan for its staff. The Authority should work with HUD to ensure that the training
              plan is fully implemented.
Comment 10 The Authority contends that it has developed a quality assurance process and
           checklist to follow and place in each household file. We commend the Authority
           for developing a quality assurance process in an effort to resolve the
           recommendation. The Authority should work with HUD to ensure its updated
           policies are fully implemented.
Comment 11 The Authority asserts that it followed its administrative plan regarding the
           retention of Social Security number documentation. We disagree. The
           Authority’s files contained Social Security documentation for all households
           reviewed with the exception of the 5 households mentioned in the finding.
           Therefore, the Authority failed to follow it administrative plan as it was the
           Authority’s practice to maintain the documents in each household file. We
           commend the Authority for taking the steps to ensure that the files cited in the
           audit report are maintained consistently with its administrative plan. The
           Authority should work with HUD to ensure that all of its files are in compliance,
           not just the ones cited in the audit report.
Comment 12 The Authority contends that it was not required to maintain criminal background
           checks in the files. We agree. The Authority should maintain evidence that a
           criminal background check was completed. The Authority required households to
           fill out an Authority form titled Authorization for Release of Information Records
           of Arrests and Prosecutions. Each household signed and dated the document as
           well as provided the date of birth, Social Security number, sex, and race. The
           form contained two check boxes; one checkbox indicating that no record was
           found and another checkbox indicating that a copy of the record was attached.
           The Authority failed to complete the appropriate checkboxes or maintain



                                               20
             documentation to support that background checks were completed for 80 of the 84
             household files reviewed.
Comment 13 The Authority stated that with its comprehensive approach of staff training,
           ongoing quality assurance, communication, and cross departmental accountability
           it could use the findings cited in this report to achieve a higher level of
           compliance and performance. We commend the Authority for the actions it plans
           to take. The Authority should work with HUD to ensure its updated policies and
           procedures are fully implemented and address the findings cited in the audit
           report.




                                             21
Appendix C
                              Federal and Authority Requirements

Regulations at 24 CFR 5.210(a) state that applicants for and participants in covered HUD
programs are required to disclose and submit documentation to verify their Social Security
numbers.

Regulations at 24 CFR 5.240(c) state that the responsible entity must verify the accuracy of the
income information received from the family and change the amount of the total tenant payment,
tenant rent, or program housing assistance payment or terminate assistance, as appropriate, based
on such information.

Regulations at 24 CFR 5.508(b)(1) state that for United States citizens or nationals, the evidence
of citizenship or eligible immigration status consists of a signed declaration of United States
citizenship or nationality. The responsible entity may request verification of the declaration by
requiring presentation of a United States passport or other appropriate documentation.

Regulations at 24 CFR 5.855(a) state that a public housing agency may prohibit admission of a
household to federally assisted housing under its standards if it determines that any household
member is engaging in or has engaged in during a reasonable time before the admission decision
(1) drug-related criminal activity; (2) violent criminal activity; (3) other criminal activity that
would threaten the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other
residents; or (4) other criminal activity that would threaten the health or safety of the agency or
owner or any employee.

Regulations at 24 CFR 5.856 state that standards must be established to prohibit admission to
federally assisted housing if any member of the household is subject to a lifetime registration
requirement under a State sex offender registration program. In the screening of applicants,
necessary criminal history background checks must be performed in the State where the housing
is located and in other States where the household members are known to have resided.

Regulations at 24 CFR 982.158(e) state that during the term of each assisted lease and for at least
3 years thereafter, the agency must keep (1) a copy of the executed lease, (2) the housing
assistance payments contract, and (3) the application from the family. Paragraph (f) states that
the agency must keep the following records for at least 3 years: lead-based paint records and
records to document the basis for the determination that the rent to the owner is a reasonable rent
(initially and during the term of a housing assistance payments contract).
Regulations at 24 CFR 982.158(f) state that the public housing agency must keep the following
records for at least 3 years: (1) records that provide income, racial, ethnic, gender, and disability
status data on program applicants and participants; (2) an application from each ineligible family
and notice that the applicant is not eligible; (3) HUD-required reports; (4) unit inspection reports;
(5) lead-based paint records; (6) accounts and other records supporting agency budget and




                                                  22
financial statements for the program; (7) records to document the basis for agency determination
that the rent to the owner is a reasonable rent; and (8) other records specified by HUD.
Regulations at 24 CFR 982.302(c) state that the family must submit to the agency a request for
approval of the tenancy and a copy of the lease, including the HUD-prescribed tenancy
addendum.

Regulations at 24 CFR 982.305(a) state that the public housing agency may not give approval for
the family of the assisted tenancy or execute a housing assistance payments contract until the
agency has determined that at the time a family initially receives tenant-based assistance for
occupancy of a dwelling unit and when the gross rent of the unit exceeds the applicable payment
standard for the family, the family share does not exceed 40 percent of the family’s monthly
adjusted income.

Regulations at 24 CFR 982.305(c) state that the housing assistance payments contract must be
executed no later than 60 calendar days from the beginning of the lease term. Any contract
executed after the 60-day period is void, and the agency may not make housing assistance
payments to the owner.

Regulations at 24 CFR 982.308(b) state that the tenant and the owner must enter a written lease
for the unit. The lease must be executed by the owner and the tenant.

Regulations at 24 CFR 982.308(g)(2) state that if there are changes in lease requirements
governing tenant or owner responsibilities for utilities or appliances, tenant-based assistance
should not be continued unless the agency has approved a new tenancy in accordance with
program requirements and has executed a new housing assistance payments contract with the
owner.

Regulations at 24 CFR 982.451 state that the housing assistance payments contract must be in
the form required by HUD.

Regulations at 24 CFR 982.516(a) state that the agency must conduct a reexamination of family
income and composition at least annually. The agency must obtain and document in the tenant
file third-party verification or why third-party verification was not available for reported family
annual income, the value of assets, expenses related to deductions from annual income, and other
factors that affect the determination of adjusted income. Paragraph (f) states that the agency
must establish procedures that are appropriate and necessary to ensure that income data provided
by applicant or participant families are complete and accurate.

Regulations at 24 CFR 982.517(b)(2) state that an agency’s utility allowance schedule and the
utility allowance for an individual family must include the utilities and services that are
necessary in the locality to provide housing that complies with HUD’s housing quality standards.
Paragraph (d)(2) states that at reexamination, the agency must use the agency’s current utility
allowance schedule.




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HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook 7420.10G, section 5.3, states that although full-
time students 18 years of age or older are technically identified as dependents, a small amount of
their earned income will be counted. Only earned income up to a maximum of $480 per year
may be counted.

HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook 7420.10G, section 5.5, states that reasonable
childcare expenses for the care of children age 12 years and younger may be deducted from
annual income if the care is necessary to enable the family member to work, look for work, or
further his or her education.

HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook 7420.10G, section 11.6, states that the Authority
and the owner must execute the housing assistance payments contract no later than 60 calendar
days from the beginning of the lease term. The Authority must not make housing assistance
payments to the owner until the contract has been executed.

Chapter 4, part K, of the Authority’s administrative plan states that zero income families will be
reevaluated every 90 days to determine whether there are new sources of income. If a family
reports that it does not have income, all adult members will be required to sign a no income
affidavit, answer all questions on a zero income questionnaire, and execute a 90-day temporary
certification.

Chapter 6, part E2, of the Authority’s administrative plan states that the following guidelines are
used to determine each family’s assigned subsidy size without overcrowding or underhousing:
(a) no more than two persons will be required to share a bedroom; (b) persons of the opposite sex
ages 4 years and over (other than husband and wife) will not be required to share a bedroom; (c)
children of the same sex will be required to share a bedroom; (d) minors older than 3 years will
be required to share a bedroom with an adult of the same sex, at the discretion of the family; (e)
adults of the same sex will be required to share a bedroom, but adults of different generations
may be permitted to have separate bedrooms; and (f) a live-in aid is permitted a separate
bedroom.

Chapter 6, part E3, of the Authority’s administrative plan states that the family unit size is used
to determine the maximum voucher rent subsidy. The applicable payment standard for the
family should always be the lower of the payment standard amount for the family unit size
reflected on the voucher or the payment standard for the actual size of the unit rented by the
family.




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