Authority's Housing Quality Standards Inspections Were Inadequate
HUD audited the Allegheny County Housing Authority's Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program because the authority received more than $27.3 million in HCV funding in fiscal year 2011 and an article published in the local newspaper in October 2011 described Housing Quality Standards problems with a unit participating in the authority's program. HUD had never audited the authority's HCV program before, and the audit was conducted solely to determine whether the authority ensured that its HCV program units met HUD's Housing Quality Standards (HQS).
The auditors found that the authority did not conduct adequate inspections as required. Of 70 program units statistically selected for inspection, 57 didn’t meet HUD's HQS. Moreover, 26 of the 57 units were in material noncompliance with HQS. The authority disbursed $14,535 in housing assistance payments and received $535 in administrative fees for those 26 units. HUD estimates that over the next year if the authority doesn’t implement adequate procedures to ensure that its program units meet HQS, HUD will pay nearly $5.2 million in housing assistance for units that materially fail to meet HUD's standards.
The auditors recommended that HUD require the authority to reimburse its program $15,070 from non-federal funds for the 26 units that materially failed to meet HUD's HQS and to train all of its inspectors to ensure that units meet them since the inspector's knowledge of the standards were inadequate. For example, the inspectors didn’t identify and report missing plugs in junction boxes, improperly wired electrical outlets, deteriorated and broken concrete steps and walkways, and open sides on flights of stairs in the units inspected.
- HUD Audit Report 2012-PH-1012: Allegheny County Housing Authority (9/21/12)