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Denver – The Denver Auditor’s Office participated in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study of the federal, state and local government programs that provide rental assistance and affordable housing to low-income households.  The GAO report, issued to Congress in September, found fragmentation and overlap in the programs, and recommended that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) work with the Rental Policy Working Group and state and local governments to develop an approach for compiling and reporting on the collective performance of rental assistance programs at various government levels.  The Rental Policy Working Group was established in 2010 by the White House Domestic Policy Council to better coordinate federal rental policy.

In late 2014, the Denver Auditor’s office reported on the Office of Economic Development’s (OED) efforts to provide affordable housing in Denver.  “Our audit found that OED’s latest five-year housing plan contained leading practices recommended by industry organizations and utilized by other cities,” explained Auditor Timothy M. O’Brien, CPA.  “To increase Denver’s supply of affordable housing, we recommended dedicating more Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money to housing and implementing new affordable housing incentives.”

The Audit Services Division’s work on the GAO report was used to complete the above-referenced audit, along with a special advisory report.

“Mayor Hancock’s proposed 2016 budget includes a substantial increase in funding for affordable housing and I have no doubt our timely audit influenced this policy decision,” said Kip Memmott, Director of Audit Services.  “We were able to issue a great report and also leverage our efforts, in a very efficient manner, to help the GAO at the same time.”

This is the second GAO report that has highlighted the work of the Denver Auditor’s office.  Auditors Dawn Wiseman, Emily Owens, Anna Hansen and Carl Halvorson worked in collaboration with the GAO on this report and on the housing audit.

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