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State finds Indianapolis Housing Agency’s accounting in disarray

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The Indianapolis Housing Agency (IHA) will spend more than $70 million, most of it federal funds, to provide housing for approximately 25,000 low income recipients in Marion County this year.

The State Board of Accounts (SBOA) has such serious reservations about IHA’s ability to keep track of its money that the state auditors are recommending, “that the Agency potentially create a special task force or external consultant (to) review the accounting for major unusual transactions.”

In a letter dated July 18, the SBOA also recommended IHA seek outside oversight of its transition of two properties to Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) status due to millions of dollars in decreased assets and revenue and an increase in liabilities.

During an audit reported to IHA’s Finance Committee last month, and later reviewed by the SBOA, independent auditors found overall agency adjustments of a $3.2 million decrease in assets, a $1.7 million increase in expenses and more than a half-million dollars in additional revenues.

“As a result of these misstatements, the monthly financial reporting used to make management decisions may be materially misstated,” reads the SBOA report which determined IHA exhibited “Material weaknesses” in the internal control of its financial reporting and the lack of, “a good monthly or annual reconciliation process.”

IHA has responded by promising to, “update finance policies…for all balance sheet accounts,” fill its vacant Chief Financial Officer position as well as other empty slots in the agency’s Finance Department, boost training for those employees and, “work with outside consulting,” to fix the agency’s internal money controls.

After reconciling outdated and inaccurate public housing waiting lists, IHA Executive Director John Hall opened up the application process for Section 8 housing assistance this week.

Hall has set a goal of adding one thousand new recipients to the program by the end of the year.

Some of those applicants say their names have been on multiple waiting lists for several years.

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