oversight

The Housing Authority of the City of Evansville, Evansville, IN, Did Not Follow HUD's and Its Own Requirements for Units Converted Under the Rental Assistance Demonstration

Published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General on 2018-08-02.

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

        Housing Authority of the City of
          Evansville, Evansville, IN
            Rental Assistance Demonstration Program




Office of Audit, Region 5        Audit Report Number: 2018-CH-1003
Chicago, IL                                           August 2, 2018
To:            Catherine D. Lamberg, Director of Public Housing, 5HPH


               //signed//
From:          Kelly Anderson, Regional Inspector General for Audit, 5AGA
Subject:       The Housing Authority of the City of Evansville, Evansville, IN, Did Not Follow
               HUD’s and Its Own Requirements for Units Converted Under the Rental
               Assistance Demonstration


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 Housing Authority of the City of Evansville’s
Rental Assistance Demonstration Program conversion.
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 website. 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) 913-8499.
                    Audit Report Number: 2018-CH-1003
                    Date: August 2, 2018

                    The Housing Authority of the City of Evansville, Evansville, IN, Did Not
                    Follow HUD’s and Its Own Requirements for Units Converted Under the
                    Rental Assistance Demonstration


Highlights

What We Audited and Why
We audited the Housing Authority of the City of Evansville’s Rental Assistance Demonstration
Program (RAD) conversion based on the activities included in our 2018 annual audit plan and
our analysis of the housing agencies participating in RAD in Region 5’s jurisdiction (States of
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin). Our audit objective was to
determine whether the Authority complied with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development’s (HUD) and its own requirements for the units converted under the program.

What We Found
The Authority did not follow HUD’s and its own requirements for the units converted under
RAD. Specifically, it (1) did not ensure that units complied with HUD’s housing quality
standards before it entered into a housing assistance payments contract, (2) failed to obtain the
services of a HUD-approved independent third party to perform housing quality standards
inspections for units owned by entities it substantially controlled, and (3) did not apply the
correct contract rents for the converted units. As a result, the Authority could not support the
eligibility of more than $1 million in housing assistance payments to the entities and more than
$10,000 in program funds paid to a contractor for housing quality standards inspection services.
Further, the application of incorrect rents led to the underpayment of housing assistance
payments to the entities, so these funds were not available for the administration of the
Authority’s Project-Based Voucher program.

What We Recommend
We recommend that the Director of HUD’s Indianapolis Office of Public Housing require the
Authority to (1) support that units met HUD’s housing quality standards or reimburse its
program more than $1 million for the initial inspections of converted units that did not ensure
compliance with the standards, (2) seek retroactive approval or reimburse its program more than
$10,000 in program funds paid to contractors for unsupported housing quality standards
inspection services completed by contractors that were not approved by HUD, and (3) implement
adequate procedures and controls to address the findings cited in this audit report.
Table of Contents
Background and Objective......................................................................................3

Results of Audit ........................................................................................................5
         Finding: The Authority Did Not Follow HUD’s and Its Own Requirements for Its
         RAD-Converted Units ...................................................................................................... 5

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

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

Appendixes ..............................................................................................................12
         A. Schedule of Questioned Costs .................................................................................. 12
         B. Auditee Comments and OIG’s Evaluation ............................................................. 13
         C. Federal and the Authority's Requirements ............................................................ 21




                                                                 2
Background and Objective
The Housing Authority of the City of Evansville was established in 1942 under the Indiana
Housing Authorities Act of 1937. Its mission is to enhance the community by creating and
sustaining decent, safe, and affordable living environments that foster stability and increase self-
sufficiency for people with low incomes. It is governed by a seven-member board of
commissioners appointed by the City’s mayor to 4-year staggered terms. The board of
commissioners’ responsibilities include overseeing the operations of the Authority as well
reviewing its policies. The Authority’s board of commissioners appoints the executive director,
who is responsible for coordinating established policy and carrying out the Authority’s day-to-
day operations.

In 2012, Congress authorized the Rental Assistance Demonstration program (RAD) to test a new
way of meeting the large and growing capital improvement needs of the Nation’s aging public
housing stock. Through RAD, properties convert their assistance to long-term, project-based
Section 8 contracts. These new contracts provide a more reliable source of operating subsidies
that allow public housing agencies and owners to safely leverage private capital – typically debt
and equity – to finance the property rehabilitation or replacement. The contracts, as well as
underlying use restrictions, must be renewed each time they expire, ensuring the long-term
affordability of the improved properties.

As of June 1, 2016, the Authority had converted 559 units from the public housing program to
the Project-Based Voucher program under RAD. The projects with public housing units
converted under RAD are listed in the table below.


                                                                             Number of
      RAD-converted property                Development type               converted units
         Caldwell Homes                       Rehabilitation                    121
         Buckner Towers                       Rehabilitation                    108
         Kennedy Towers                       Rehabilitation                    100
        Schnute Apartments                    Rehabilitation                    115
         White Oak Manor                      Rehabilitation                    115
              Total                                                             559

The Project-Based Voucher program is a component of the Housing Choice Voucher program,
and some of the regulatory requirements of the Housing Choice Voucher program also apply to
the Project-Based Voucher program. Under the Project-Based Voucher program, a housing
subsidy is paid to the project owner by the public housing agency on behalf of the participating
family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the owner and
the amount subsidized by the program. The public housing agency must reexamine the family’s
income and composition at least annually and must inspect each unit at least annually to ensure
that it meets the minimum housing quality standards.


                                                  3
Our objective was to determine whether the Authority complied with HUD’s and its own
requirements for the units converted under the program. Specifically, we wanted to determine
whether the Authority appropriately (1) ensured that the converted units complied with HUD’s
housing quality standards before entering into a housing assistance payments contract, (2) used a
HUD-approved contractor to perform the housing quality standards inspections for the program
units, and (3) applied the correct contract rent for units converted under RAD.




                                                4
Results of Audit

Finding: The Authority Did Not Follow HUD’s and Its Own
Requirements for Its RAD-Converted Units
The Authority did not follow HUD’s and its own requirements for the units converted under the
program. Specifically, it (1) did not ensure that units complied with HUD’s housing quality
standards before it entered into a housing assistance payments contract, (2) failed to obtain the
services of a HUD-approved independent third party to perform housing quality standards
inspections for units owned by entities it substantially controlled, and (3) did not apply the
correct contract rents for the converted units. These weaknesses occurred because the Authority
lacked a sufficient understanding of HUD’s requirements for housing quality standards and
conflicts of interest. It also lacked an adequate quality control process. As a result, the
Authority could not support the eligibility of more than $1 million in housing assistance
payments to the entities and more than $10,000 in program funds paid to a contractor for housing
quality standards inspection services. Further, the application of incorrect rents led to the
underpayment of housing assistance payments to the entities, so these funds were not available
for the administration of the Authority’s Project-Based Voucher program.

The Authority Did Not Ensure That Converted Units Complied With HUD’s Housing
Quality Standards
The Authority did not ensure that units converted under RAD complied with HUD’s housing
quality standards. Contrary to 24 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 983.204(a),1 the
Authority executed housing assistance payments contracts without determining whether the
RAD-converted units complied with housing quality standards. After completing the
rehabilitation work for the units, the Authority failed to perform the initial housing quality
standards inspection. In lieu of the housing quality standards inspection, it accepted the unit
inspections performed by an architect when the units were near completion and before
occupancy. The architect issued certificates of substantial completion for the converted units,
stating that the work performed under the contract had been reviewed and found to be
substantially complete. However, the certificates did not state whether the units met HUD’s
housing quality standards.

The Authority Did Not Obtain the Services of a HUD-Approved Contractor
Advantix Development, Inc.,2 the Authority’s nonprofit, owns a controlling interest in EHA
RAD I (Buckner, Kennedy, Schnute, and White Oak) and EHA RAD II (Caldwell Homes).3
The Authority is the registered agent and has a controlling interest in 438 units of housing at

1
  See appendix C for criteria.
2
  Advantix Development, Inc., is a nonprofit corporation in which the Authority has financial accountability for and
control over its board of directors and management.
3
  EHA RAD I and RAD II, L.P., are limited partnerships for which the Authority is financially accountable;
however, it does not have full ownership of these entities.


                                                          5
RAD I and 121 units at RAD II for a total of 559 units.

We reviewed the annual and special inspections for the 559 program units at the projects from
June 1, 2016, through February 19, 2018.4 Contrary to HUD’s conflict-of-interest
requirements,5 the Authority failed to obtain HUD’s approval for the contractor that performed
the housing quality standards inspections for the 559 units owned by entities it substantially
controlled.

The Authority paid more than $1 million in housing assistance for the units without having an
initial housing quality standards inspection and a HUD-approved contractor for the housing
quality standards inspections completed. The table below shows the amount of housing
assistance payments inappropriately received by the Authority by property.

                                            Housing assistance
                  Property name                payments                   Administrative fee

                Caldwell Homes                            $381,794                       $39,506

                Buckner Towers                                138,385                     22,842

                Kennedy Towers                                137,100                     22,365

                Schnute                                                                   30,935
                Apartments                                    212,424

                White Oak Manor                               183,915                     36,780

                       Totals                            1,053,618                       152,428

In addition, the Authority paid $10,124 in program funds to the contractor for housing quality
standards inspection services.

The Authority Did Not Apply Correct Contract Rents for Its RAD-Converted Units
Contrary to HUD’s requirements,6 the Authority did not apply the correct contract rents for 256
units in the projects converted under RAD. Specifically, the Authority did not apply the correct
contract rents, effective as of June 1, 2017, for households with anniversary dates effective in
June through December 2017. Instead, it applied 2016 contract rents to all annual certifications
performed after May 31, 2017, for the converted units. As of January 2018, the Authority was
using 2016 contract rents for the units. Because it applied the incorrect contract rents, it
underpaid housing assistance payments to its non-profit entities. Therefore, these funds were not
available for the administration of the Authority’s Project-Based Voucher program.

4
  A household may have had more than one inspection during the period.
5
  Regulations at 24 CFR 983.103(f)(1) state that in the case of public housing agency-owned units, the required
inspections must be performed by an independent agency.
6
   See appendix C for criteria.


                                                          6
The Authority Lacked a Sufficient Understanding of HUD’s Requirements and an
Adequate Quality Control Process
The Authority lacked a sufficient understanding of HUD’s requirements. Its executive director
believed that the RAD-converted units complied with housing quality standards because the
architect inspected the units in accordance with the Indiana Building Code. However, other than
the certificates of substantial completion issued by the architect, the Authority was unable to
provide support showing that the initial inspections by the architect met HUD’s housing quality
standards.

Further, according to the Authority, it was aware that HUD had to approve the independent third
party contractor for housing quality standards inspection services, but it did not seek HUD’s
approval until December 6, 2017, as a result of our audit. On February 20, 2018, HUD approved
the Authority to continue using its contracted inspector for its RAD-assisted units going forward.
However, the approval was not retroactive.

The Authority also lacked an adequate quality control process to ensure that it applied the correct
contract rents for the units converted under the program in accordance with HUD’s and its own
requirements. According to the Authority, it may have overlooked the original notice released
by HUD in November 2016 for the 2017 contract rents. Although the Authority’s staff members
received training on how to calculate housing assistance payments before the units were
converted, they used the wrong contract rents. In addition, the application of the incorrect
contract rents was not detected because the Authority’s staff members “spot-checked” each
other’s work and the executive director performed only a cursory review of their work.

According to the Authority, it had attempted to correct the contract rents by downloading the
adjustment tool from HUD’s website, but it received an error message stating that the file had
been corrupted. Therefore, the Authority reached out to HUD representatives for assistance in
November 2017 and immediately began implementing the adjusted contract rents for annual
recertifications going forward. In addition, it made retroactive adjustments to correct contract
rents for annual certifications that had been processed with effective dates beginning June 1,
2017.

Conclusion
The weaknesses described above occurred because the Authority lacked a sufficient
understanding of HUD’s requirements for housing quality standards and conflicts of interest. It
also lacked an adequate quality control process. As a result, the Authority could not support the
eligibility of more than $1 million in housing assistance payments to the entities and more than
$10,000 in program funds paid to a contractor for housing quality standards inspection services.
Further, the application of incorrect rents led to the underpayment of housing assistance
payments to the entities, so these funds were not available for the administration of the
Authority’s Project-Based Voucher program.

In accordance with 24 CFR 982.152(d), HUD is permitted to reduce or offset any 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 $152,428 in



                                                 7
program administrative fees related to the housing quality standards inspection services
completed by a contractor without HUD’s approval.
Recommendations
We recommend that the Director of HUD’s Indianapolis Office of Public Housing require the
Authority to
 1A. Support that the converted units met HUD’s housing quality standards or reimburse its
     program $1,206,046 from non-Federal funds ($1,053,618 in housing assistance payments
     + $152,428 in administrative fees).

 1B. Seek retroactive approval or reimburse its program $10,124 for program funds paid to the
     contractor not approved by HUD for the housing quality standards inspections for units
     owned by entities substantially controlled by the Authority.

 1C. Implement adequate procedures and controls to ensure that the Authority complies with
     HUD’s conflict-of-interest requirements, including but not limited to ensuring that (1) its
     staff is appropriately trained and familiar with HUD’s requirements for units owned by
     entities it substantially controls and (2) future contracts to perform housing quality
     standards inspections for program units owned by entities substantially controlled by the
     Authority are with a HUD-approved independent third party.

 1D.   Implement adequate procedures and controls, including but not limited to providing
       guidance to its program staff on how to apply the correct contract rents and developing an
       effective quality control process.




                                                8
Scope and Methodology
We performed our onsite audit work between October 2017 and March 2018 at the Authority’s
office located at 411 SE 8th Street, Evansville, IN. The audit covered the period December 1,
2012, through September 30, 2017, but was expanded as necessary.7

To accomplish our audit objective, we interviewed HUD program staff and the Authority’s staff.
In addition, we obtained and reviewed the following:

         Applicable laws; HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR Parts 5, 982, and 983; HUD’s
          Office of Public and Indian Housing notices; and HUD’s Guidebook 7420.10G.

         The Authority’s program administrative plan, annual audited financial statements for
          fiscal years 2012 through 2016, accounting records, bank statements, policies and
          procedures, board meeting minutes for January 2013 through October 2017,
          organizational chart, and annual plans.

We reviewed the independent audit reports and incorporating documents to determine whether
the Authority owned or substantially controlled units that received housing assistance
payments from June 2016 through February 2018.

We determined that all inspections were completed for the units owned by an entity
substantially controlled by the Authority in which program households resided between June
1, 2016, and September 30, 2017. We reviewed 100 percent of the inspections8 for the units
owned by an entity substantially controlled by the Authority. The universe was small enough
to allow for a 100 percent review; therefore, no projection of our results was necessary.
Further, we performed a cursory review of the projects’ units, but this limited review was not
detailed enough to determine the condition of the units.

We reviewed the housing assistance payments registers for the months of June 1 through
December 31, 2017, to determine whether the Authority had applied the correct contract rents.

To achieve our audit objective, we relied in part on computer-processed data. We used the data
to assess changes to tenant rents, identify tenants who had moved, and select units to observe for
completed renovations. Although we did not perform a detailed assessment of the reliability of



7
  We expanded our scope for the conflicts-of-interest review to February 2018 to account for any adjustments to the
housing assistance paid to entities substantially controlled by the Authority and ensure the accuracy of the reported
amounts. We also expanded our scope for the application of contract rents review to December 2017 to determine
whether the Authority correctly applied the 2017 contract rents.
8
  The inspections included 235 housing quality standards inspections and 121 unit walkthroughs documented in the
inspection reports and AIA Certifications of Substantial Completion, respectively.


                                                          9
the data, we performed a minimal level of testing and found the data to be adequate for our
purposes.

We provided our review results and supporting schedules to the Director of HUD’s Indianapolis
Office of Public Housing and the Authority’s 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 objective.




                                                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 objective:

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

   Compliance with laws and regulations - Policies and procedures that management has
    implemented to provide reasonable assurance that program implementation is in accordance
    with laws, regulations, and provisions of contracts or grant agreements.

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 for housing
        quality standards and conflicts of interest and an adequate quality control process
        regarding the application of contract rents (finding).




                                                  11
Appendixes

Appendix A


                             Schedule of Questioned Costs
                           Recommendation
                                              Unsupported 1/
                               number
                                   1A              $1,206,046
                                   1B                  10,124

                                 Totals             1,216,170



1/   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.




                                              12
Appendix B
             Auditee Comments and OIG’s Evaluation



Ref to OIG
Evaluation    Auditee Comments




Comment 1




                               13
             Auditee Comments

Ref to OIG
Evaluation




Comment 1




Comment 2



Comment 3




Comment 4




                                14
Ref to OIG   Auditee Comments
Evaluation




Comment 4




Comment 5




Comment 6




                                15
             Auditee Comments

Ref to OIG
Evaluation


Comment 7




Comment 8




                                16
             Auditee Comments

Ref to OIG
Evaluation




Comment 9




                                17
                         OIG Evaluation of Auditee Comments


Comment 1   The Authority strongly disputes each of the findings in the report and believes
            that none of the recommendations are necessary. It also states that no harm or
            negative consequences resulted from the “alleged” noncompliance.

            We disagree. The effective implementation of the recommendations, which are
            necessary due to the deficiencies noted, would assist the Authority with ensuring
            that it meets its own and HUD’s mission of enhancing the community by creating
            and sustaining decent, safe, and affordable living environments. Further, the
            Authority did not provide support for its assertion that the noncompliance did not
            result in any harm or negative consequences.

            We acknowledge the Authority’s plan to work with HUD to ensure compliance in
            the future.

Comment 2   The Authority states that the audit report took a sweeping overview of the
            Authority’s program and jumped to conclusions that could not be supported.

            We disagree. We maintain and can support our conclusions. For instance, the
            Authority acknowledges that it would seek retroactive approval for its
            noncompliance with HUD’s requirements. Therefore, our conclusion that the
            Authority failed to perform initial housing quality standards inspections and
            entered into housing assistance payments contracts without determining that the
            RAD units complied with housing quality standards are supported by the
            Authority’s planned actions.

Comment 3   The Authority asserts that the audit team did not determine whether any harm
            resulted from the Authority’s failure to perform initial housing quality standards
            inspections and determine whether the RAD-converted units complied with the
            housing quality standards before entering into housing assistance payments
            contracts.

            We disagree. HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR 983.204 state that the public housing
            agency may not enter into a housing assistance payments contract for any contract
            unit until the housing agency has determined that the unit complies with the
            housing quality standards. Further, HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR 983.208(b)
            state that the public housing agency may not make any housing assistance
            payment to the owner for a contract unit covering any period during which the
            contract unit does not comply with the housing quality standards. As a result, the
            Authority was unable to support the eligibility of more than $1 million in housing
            assistance payments to the entities. Further, without confirmation or support that
            the units met housing quality standards, HUD lacks assurance that these units for
            which it paid housing assistance provided decent, safe, and sanitary housing to the
            families that occupied the units.


                                              18
Comment 4   The Authority states that its interpretation of HUD’s regulations was different
            from the audit team’s interpretation. Specifically, the Authority considered
            HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR 983.204(c), which state that in the case of newly
            constructed or rehabilitated housing, the housing assistance payments contract
            must be executed after the public housing agency has inspected the completed
            units and has determined that the units have been completed in accordance with
            the housing assistance payment contract agreement and the owner has furnished
            all required evidence of completion. Therefore, it relied on the certificates of
            substantial completion issued by the project architect and believed that it had
            fulfilled its inspection obligations.

            HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR 983.204(c) refer to sections 24 CFR 983.155 and
            983.156, which require (1) the owner to certify that the work had been completed
            in accordance with the housing quality standards and all requirements of the
            agreement and (2) the Authority to inspect the work to determine if the housing
            has been completed in accordance with the agreement, including compliance with
            housing quality standards and any additional requirement imposed by the
            Authority under the agreement. Further, the certificates of substantial completion
            did not support that the RAD-converted units met HUD’s housing quality
            standards before the Authority executed the housing assistance payments
            contracts.

Comment 5   The Authority states that it had a number of third parties, including the City of
            Evansville, to inspect the units and it engaged a third party contractor that
            certified the units as meeting housing quality standards.

            The Authority did not provide documentation supporting that it ensured that the
            units met housing quality standards before the housing assistance payments
            contracts had been executed. In addition, the Authority did not receive HUD’s
            approval for the third party contractor that performed the housing quality
            standards inspections until February 20, 2018. We redacted names in the
            Authority’s comments for privacy reasons.

Comment 6   The Authority contends that our recommendation regarding the inspection of units
            was not reasonable.

            We disagree. HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR 983.103(b) require the Authority to
            inspect each contract unit before executing the housing assistance payments
            contracts. However, since the units are substantially controlled by the Authority,
            they should have been inspected by an independent third party. Further, the
            Authority may not enter into a housing assistance payments contract covering a
            unit until the unit fully complies with housing quality inspections. Therefore, the
            recommendation cited in the report was reasonable.




                                              19
Comment 7   The Authority contends that the deficiencies we “alleged” were at most a
            technical issue of when and how to conduct housing quality standards inspections
            of the RAD units that did not result in any detriment to residents. Further, it
            contends that the units ultimately passed the housing quality standards inspection.

            The Authority was required to ensure that the units met housing quality standards
            before it executed the housing assistance payments contracts or no later than the
            date of completion of initial repairs as required by HUD. It also did not provide
            documentation supporting its assertion that the newly renovated units ultimately
            complied with the housing quality standards. The Authority should work with
            HUD on the resolution of the recommendation to ensure the cited issues are
            appropriately addressed.

Comment 8   The Authority contends that it had requested HUD’s approval to continue using a
            third party contractor for housing quality standards inspections of the RAD units
            and that its request had been approved by HUD.

            We acknowledge that the Authority requested approval from HUD on December
            6, 2017. However, this occurred after we requested the documentation supporting
            HUD’s approval of the third party contractor performing the housing quality
            standards inspections. HUD granted its approval of the third party contractor
            effective February 20, 2018. The Authority should work with HUD on the
            resolution of the recommendation. We redacted names in the Authority’s
            comments for privacy reasons.

Comment 9   The Authority stated that the “finding” is unfairly prejudicial against it because
            we completely ignored the circumstances which created the issue; the failure of
            HUD’s computer program.

            We disagree. The finding regarding the application of the correct contract rents
            was not unfair nor was it prejudicial against the Authority. We did not ignore the
            circumstances surrounding the cited finding. On the contrary, as noted by the
            Authority in its comments, the audit report mentions the Authority’s attempt to
            download the adjustment tool from HUD’s Web site. We also acknowledged the
            corrections the Authority made to the contract rents. However, it is not accurate
            to state that HUD’s computer program created the issue of misapplication of the
            contract rents. For instance, according to the Authority, it may have overlooked
            the original HUD notice released in November 2016 for the 2017 contract rents.
            Further, the Authority did not attempt to download the adjustment tool until after
            the audit team started its onsite audit work. If the Authority had an adequate
            quality control process, it would have detected earlier that it was applying the
            incorrect contract rents for 2017.




                                              20
Appendix C
                                Federal and the Authority’s Requirements


HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR 983.59(b)(3) state that in the case of public housing agency-owned
units, the inspection of public housing agency-owned units may not be performed by the public
housing agency but must be performed instead by an independent entity approved by HUD for
inspections of public housing agency-owned units as required by 24 CFR 983.103(f).

HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR 983.204 state that before execution of the housing assistance
payments contract, the public housing agency must inspect each contract unit in accordance with
24 CFR 983.103(b). The public housing agency may not enter into a housing assistance
payments contract for any contract unit until the public housing agency has determined that the
unit complies with the housing quality standards. Further, in the case of newly constructed or
rehabilitated housing, the housing assistance payments contract must be executed after the public
housing agency has inspected the completed units and has determined that the units have been
completed in accordance with the housing assistance payment contract agreement and the owner
has furnished all required evidence of completion (see 24 CFR 983.155 and 24 CFR 983.156).

Chapter 24 of the Authority’s administrative plan states that under 24 CFR 983.204(a)(2), a
public housing agency may not enter into a housing assistance payments contract for any unit
until the public housing agency has determined that the unit complies with housing quality
standards. It is the responsibility of the contract administrator to perform this initial inspection
(unless the units being inspected are public housing agency-owned, in which case the inspection
must be performed by an independent entity as required by 24 CFR 983.103(f)). The RAD rider
to the Project-Based Voucher housing assistance payments contract provides for some flexibility
on this requirement to accommodate the use of project-based voucher assistance to finance
needed repairs. Specifically, the RAD Project-Based Voucher housing assistance payments
contract provides that an owner may certify that all units will meet housing quality standards “no
later than the date of completion of initial repairs.”

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing Notice 2012-32, REV-2, paragraph 1.6(B)(6), states
that contract rents will be adjusted annually by HUD’s operating cost adjustment factor at each
anniversary of the housing assistance payments contract, subject to the availability of
appropriations for each year of the contract term.9 Therefore, section 8(o)(13)(I) of the United
States Housing Act of 1937 and 24 CFR 983.301 and 983.302, concerning rent determinations,
should not apply when adjusting rents.




9
 Operating cost adjustment factors are calculated and published in the Federal Register each year by HUD and are
applied to the portion of a contract rent that is not committed to debt service payment to calculate the contract rent
for the project in the following fiscal year.


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