Housing Authority Administrative Expenditures (2016-MS-2)

Issued Date
November 18, 2016

[read complete report - pdf]

We also issued six letter reports to the following housing authorities: Albany, Elmira, Town of Hempstead, Jamestown, Port Chester and Rome.

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether housing authorities were adequately controlling and monitoring administrative costs for the period January 1, 2012 through November 25, 2015.


Housing authorities are public corporations that generally provide affordable housing to citizens with lower incomes. Housing authorities around the State manage both public housing units and Section 8 housing vouchers. Each authority audited is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners (Board) consisting of five commissioners appointed by the Mayor of the city or village or town board of the town they were founded to serve and two tenant commissioners that are voted in by a group of their peers. The Board oversees an Executive Director and staff that carry out the housing authority’s daily duties and responsibilities.

Key Findings

  • Although housing authority administrative expenditures at the six authorities we audited were generally reasonable and appropriate, we found instances where there were inadequate controls and oversight, some of which allowed inappropriate expenditures to go undetected.
  • In four of six authorities, we found either excessive compensation; lack of a travel policy, lack of knowledge of the travel policy by staff or expenditures in excess of those allowed by the existing travel policy; or inadequate controls surrounding gift card use.

Key Recommendation

  • Provide oversight, including the implementation and monitoring of policies and procedures, to help ensure that authority resources are used only for appropriate authority expenditures.