Public Housing:

Information on Backlogged Modernization Funds

RCED-94-217FS: Published: Jul 15, 1994. Publicly Released: Aug 10, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on unobligated public housing modernization funds, focusing on: (1) the extent of and reasons for the unobligated funds; and (2) federal and state efforts to reduce the accumulation of unobligated modernization funds.

GAO found that: (1) there is approximately $9.3 billion in appropriated funds that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has not approved for local use or public housing authorities (PHA) have not obligated for modernization projects; (2) HUD expects PHA to obligate their approved funds within 2 years, but it allows PHA to take up to 3 years to obligate funds; (3) HUD considers only $434.5 million of the funds as backlogged, but HUD failed to calculate the unobligated balance approved in fiscal year (FY) 1991; (4) most of the backlog consists of approved funds from fiscal years 1990 and 1991; (5) most of the unobligated modernization funds are designated for larger PHA; (6) factors contributing to the backlogs at PHA include the time needed to comply with federal and local laws, federal and local public housing policies and procedures, litigation, and insufficient management resources; (7) HUD and PHA have made operational and regulatory changes to speed up the obligation of funds by increasing HUD and PHA management attention to and resources for the program; and (8) since FY 1982, HUD has taken back over $59 million of unobligated funds from PHA.

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