A third-party consultant began a review this week of the Charlotte Housing Authoritys rent voucher and public housing programs, four years after a similar assessment found numerous errors within the authoritys files.
Penny VanderWall, director of Washington, D.C.-based Quadel Consulting, told housing authority board members Tuesday that a team of researchers will review a random sample of 150 tenant files from the voucher and public housing programs.
The housing authoritys rent voucher program, also known as the Section 8 program, includes more than 4,000 people. The public housing program includes more than 3,200 units.
VanderWall said the $67,700 study will determine if the housing authority is following its own guidelines and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requirements.
It will assess the programs current performance and measure several of the same issues Quadel reviewed in 2008.
That assessment, which found some records were inaccurate or incomplete more than half of the time, was never presented to the board members in charge of governing the authority.
Board members learned of the review this year after a former employee leaked it.
Because roughly 10 senior administrators within the housing authority have left in recent years, its unclear why administrators called for the 2008 assessment and why they didnt share the results with board members, said Deborah Clark, spokeswoman for the authority.
According to a summary, Quadel examined more than 50 areas of the authoritys voucher program four years ago.
Consultants scored the housing authority below 70 percent on 24 issues. One issue could not be scored because of insufficient data.
We will focus on current conditions, said VanderWall of the current study. The only reason why were talking about 2008 is because it has come up.
Quadel will present its findings to housing authority board members on Dec. 18.
Included with its findings will be a review of each programs strengths and weaknesses and opportunities to improve.
Unlike the 2008 study, this assessment will address the severity of each error. For example, rather than simply marking a record as incomplete, officials will be more specific. Was the record unsigned? Was it misplaced or left unfinished?
Records include a list of items from paperwork showing the income of voucher participants to a buildings inspection report.
The new assessment will also highlight important issues, including whether the authority conducted criminal background checks on program applicants.
In 2008, 60 percent of the reviewed files did not contain the necessary form stating that a criminal background check was conducted and passed.