Massachusetts Gets High Score for Project-Based Voucher Program

Massachusetts Gets High Score for Project-Based Voucher Program

A recent OIG audit of the Section 8 project-based voucher program operated by Massachusetts’ Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) found that the DHCD’s contracts with administering agencies were properly administered, tenants were eligible participants, and the rental units were eligible under the program. In addition, tenant rental and housing assistance payments were calculated correctly and rental units meet housing quality standards.

The DHCD received more than $635 million Section 8 housing choice voucher program funding from July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2009, of which it could use $127 million (or 20 percent) for 717 project-based vouchers. The DHCD used nine regional administering agencies to administer its project-based vouchers. Each agency had a contract with the DHCD that specified its duties and responsibilities.

The auditors found that the DHCD did not provide project-based voucher program assistance for ineligible units. Projects generally went through several reviews because they received multiple sources of funds and had to meet multiple sets of criteria.

Importantly, the DHCD monitored the performance of its administering agencies through review of the Voucher Management System and Public Housing Information Center delinquency reports. These reviews included the use of funding, leasing of units, and evaluation of inspection reports. If an agency owned the property it administered, the DHCD required the agency to hire a third party to conduct the inspections for housing quality standards. And, if the DHCD had concerns with the performance of an agency, it took action to ensure that performance was improved to an acceptable level.

Because the auditors found no significant deficiencies in their review, there were no recommendations made or action that needed to be taken.

• HUD Audit Report No. 2010-BO-1003.