Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation

Skip to Content

Login   Subscribe   Site Index   Contact Us   Google Translate™

NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation
Homeless Housing and Assistance Program – Project Selection and Maintenance


Issued: January 10, 2019
Link to full audit report 2018-S-4
Link to 90-day response

Purpose
To determine if the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP) is selecting feasible projects to provide permanent supportive housing to the homeless and if HHAP projects are being properly maintained. This audit covered the period from April 1, 2015 through September 14, 2018.

Background
The Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation (HHAC) was established on June 8, 1990 to administer HHAP and is staffed by 17 Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance employees. HHAP was created in 1983 to provide funding for the establishment of homeless projects in the form of grants, loans, or loan guarantees to acquire, construct, or rehabilitate supportive housing for the homeless. Financial assistance is provided through direct contracts with municipalities, not-for-profits, charitable organizations, or public corporations. Projects eligible for HHAP funding may serve families, single persons, youth, and the elderly, as well as a range of persons with special needs. In addition, HHAC’s contractors are required to provide supportive services to these clients to assist in maintaining their residence. HHAP also must perform a review, at periodic intervals, of the entities receiving financial assistance. From the inception of the program in 1983 through State Fiscal Year 2015-16, the State has appropriated $974.5 million for HHAP for the development of 17,768 units of housing. For State Fiscal Years 2016-17 and 2017-18, $63 million was appropriated for HHAP. During State Fiscal Year 2016-17, HHAP developed 531 units consisting of 1,092 beds that became operational.

Key Findings

  • HHAP awarded funding for 51 projects that it concluded met the scoring criteria during the three-year period ending March 31, 2016. These included 31 completed projects and 20 in the pre-construction or construction phase; all but one were operational or in the pre-construction or construction phase within two to four years of being awarded funding.
  • We found that HHAP completed or scheduled monitoring visits for 326 HHAP projects. However, 32 HHAP projects did not receive timely monitoring visits, with delays ranging from one to nine months.
  • HHAC requires all project providers to submit detailed annual reports. The annual reports are critical, as they act as a control to alert HHAC of possible red flags or warnings for issues that may require attention. Forty-six annual reports were delinquent, with delays ranging from 94 to 980 days.
  • HHAP officials are aware that their database is not always reliable and, in some instances, query results are not accurate. Officials are seeking solutions to replace this system.

Key Recommendations

  • Continue improving the timeliness of monitoring site visits and ensure all projects are visited within a 12-month cycle.
  • Ensure all annual reports are received and reviewed timely to ensure the projects meet the milestones. Take appropriate action to acquire delinquent annual reports.
  • Continue taking the needed steps to implement a management information system that generates reliable data for decision making.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance: Oversight of Homeless Shelters (2015-S-23)
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance: Homeless Shelters and Homelessness in New York State (2016-D-3)


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Brian Reilly
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236