Since the city of Reno is the lead agency to the Washoe County HOME Consortium, the city was picked as the first mid-sized city in the western region to be audited. The consortium received $4.67 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds to acquire, re-sell or lease foreclosed properties in target areas in Reno, Sparks and Washoe County. The funds are also being used to assist first-time home buyers acquire foreclosed homes.
The funding became available to the consortium in March and the auditors arrived May 11 to evaluate the city's capacity to implement the approved programs. Auditors reviewed financial records, financial and administrative policies, inspected properties and interviewed staff from the Reno Housing Authority for regulatory compliance and evaluate capacity to manage and implement funded programs. The OIG recently issued a report that identified no issues and auditors verbally requested permission to use the local program as a model.
This year the OIG ramped up the number of audits conducted as a way to ensure that billions of federal dollars made available through the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 are used effectively and properly.