News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 31, 2014

Housing Authority gets positive review

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute Housing Authority got yet another glowing review from auditors charged with inspecting the organization’s books and compliance with federal rules.

At its meeting Monday night, the Housing Authority Board of Directors heard a report from CliftonLarsonAllen, a Minneapolis-based professional services firm, stating the Housing Authority would receive the firm’s highest marks.

The Housing Authority received “the highest opinion we can give,” said Michelle L. Hartman, a CPA and the senior manager on the audit, which examined data from the Authority’s 2013 fiscal year, which ended in September.

“Everything was in good shape,” Hartman said after meeting with board members. The findings indicated an authority that is operating with good fiscal controls, she said.

Auditors also had full cooperation from Housing Authority staff, Hartman told the board.

This is the authority’s fifth consecutive positive audit, said Jeff Stewart, its executive director.

During the past three years, the Housing Authority used the auditing firm of Fallon & Larsen LLP, a New Jersey-based company, for its audits. It also gave the authority high marks. The Housing Authority board has chosen to change auditors every three years to keep a “fresh eye” on things, said Stewart, who took over as executive director in 2008.

The positive audits of recent years come after the authority was given a “troubled” status by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) after the 2007 fiscal year audit uncovered numerous record keeping and compliance problems. The Housing Authority is regulated and funded by HUD.

The Terre Haute Housing Authority provides low-income housing for about 2,000 individuals and families in the city. The governing board is made up of seven members who are appointed by the mayor and who meet once a month at the Housing Authority offices on North 19th Street.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com.