DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: IMPROVE SECTION 8 INTERNAL QUALITY CONTROL

10-G
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: IMPROVE SECTION 8 INTERNAL QUALITY CONTROL
Problem Identification:
Limited quality control reviews conducted by HABC as part of the HUD-mandated Section 8 Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) certification process indicated high error rates in verification and calculation of adjusted income (19.76 percent), Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections (91.3 percent), and documentation of rent reasonableness (20.11 percent). Formal supervisory quality control reviews are not conducted on an ongoing basis.

Recommended Actions:
Improve Section 8 internal quality control by setting specific quality control goals and performing monthly supervisory quality control reviews on ten percent of all transactions. Ensure that the Commissioner signs off on any new Section 8 units and that all new units meet lead paint requirements.

Classification:
Organizational, Service Improvement

Function/Operational Area:
HABC/Section 8

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Costs:
None

Barriers to Implementation:
None

Projected Implementation:
1 year

Next Steps:
Assign internal auditor to work with supervisory staff to design effective quality control forms and procedures for income calculation, inspections, and rent reasonableness.

Analysis:
As a standard business practice, HUD recommends that housing authorities conduct quality control (QC) reviews on at least 5 percent of the cases they process on a regular basis. ‘Quality control reviews’ are reviews conducted by a supervisory or designated senior staff person, according to a standard protocol. Cases sampled are selected at random, although ideally they represent the work of all staff members. The results are recorded by the reviewer, communicated to the staff member responsible for any errors, corrected, tabulated, and used as a basis for staff training and evaluations.

HABC conducted QC reviews of calculations of adjusted income, housing quality standards inspections, and the documentation (not the substance) of rent reasonableness determinations, as part of its SEMAP self-evaluation process. The failure rates for income calculations and rent reasonableness (which has been a particular focus for HABC) were approximately 20 percent, suggesting that work needs to be done to reduce errors to an acceptable level – 5 percent or less. The failure rate for inspections was over 90 percent — completely unacceptable. Protocols must be developed, staff trained, and review results monitored until the failure rates are reduced to an acceptable level. Until then, at least 10 percent of the division’s transactions in these areas should be reviewed.