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Boston — State Auditor Suzanne Bump today released an audit of the New Bedford Housing Authority finding both a series of management deficiencies and some improvements at the agency.
The audit identified incomplete inventories of the authority’s furniture and equipment, fringe-benefits for its executive director not treated as taxable compensation and certain housing unit assignment processes that did not comply with state regulations.
The report also found the authority has made progress since their 2012 state audit in decreasing the turnaround time in preparing vacant units for occupancy – going from 95 days to 40, allowing increased revenue collection. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development guidelines call for a 21 day turnaround.
Auditor Bump called on the New Bedford Housing Authority to further improve its unit turnaround rates and to bring the policies, procedures and activities reviewed in compliance with standards. In its response included in the report, the authority indicated that is working to address identified issues.
The New Bedford Housing Authority manages and oversees 389 elderly housing units, 168 family units, 330 veterans’ units, and 16 special-needs units. The agency also manages 155 vouchers under the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program and the Alternative Housing Voucher Program.
The Office of the State Auditor conducts technical and performance audits of state government’s programs, departments, agencies, authorities, contracts, and vendors. With its reports, the OSA issues recommendations to improve accountability, efficiency, and transparency.
The New Bedford Housing Authority audit is available here.