The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awards Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to entitlement communities to carry out a wide range of community development activities directed toward revitalizing neighborhoods, economic development and providing improved community facilities and services. The City of Modesto receives HUD entitlement grants on a formula basis, this funding gets renewed each year if the city meets certain requirements, and therefore a monitoring audit is conducted each year.
This year, HUD conducted an on-site monitoring audit from August 12, 2019 to August 16, 2019 of the City’s CDBG Program and Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Because the grant process is so extensive, the monitoring principal was created to expose any findings of fraud, waste, and mismanagement. Among many reasons, the monitoring audit is formulated to verify grant funds are being used appropriately and to ensure program effectiveness and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Monitoring also allows grantees to make improvements, maintain communication with HUD, and evaluate their overall performance. The review can include the tracking of individual activities and documenting of accomplishments.
After an extensive evaluation process, the results of the audit
determined that the city has been in compliance with program regulation and requirements and no findings of violations or concerns were found. Additionally, HUD applauded our improvements on our CDBG program management in conjunction with our early submission of the 2019-2020 Annual Action Plan. It is great to hear that we are on track in meeting our affordable housing goals. Receiving and maintaining HUD Entitlement Grant funding is imperative to our community’s need for services and activities. In order to upkeep the program’s livelihood we must ensure that every project we set forth meets certain qualifications.
This year’s audit came to us as a breath of fresh air compared to previous Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit results received in the past. Our program staff went through a lot of transitions in previous years but has now been able to reinvent its management system to benefit all parties involved. Thus, new checks and balances were established to ensure mistakes are not repeated. The City is currently in the process of preparing its 2020-2024 Five-Year Consolidated Plan regarding housing and community development programs as well as Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair housing choice. We are also in the midst of preparing the 2020-2021 Annual Action Plan. These plans are required by HUD in order for the City to receive federal funds.
We would like to give a big thank you to our HUD staff who has worked tirelessly on maintaining program standards and deadlines. This audit attests to the dedication that is put into cultivating services that greater serve our community. It is through grants like these that we are able to provide Annual Action Plans that better voice the needs of our residents and overall addresses issues surrounding affordable housing, homelessness, and community development needs within Modesto.