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State audit hits Cambria Housing Authority

CAMBRIA – Record-keeping that was inadequate or nonexistent led to negative comments in a state audit of the Cambria Housing Authority, released Wednesday.

The state Comptroller’s Office said the authority, which operates subsidized apartments on Unicorn Drive and senior-citizen housing in Fairview Village and on Northway and Southway drives, issued 181 checks during 2014. However, 63 of them weren’t backed by enough documentation to prove they were proper authority expenses. The five-member board did not audit the bills before they were paid, the report said.

Also, the authority is required every year to recertify tenants’ income. The state auditors checked 10 Unicorn tenants and found that in eight cases, there was no proof that any recertification had been conducted. Rents are tied to the residents’ income and could be too high or too low as a result, the audit said.

Authority Chairwoman Karen J. Heffler asserted that she, the treasurer and the apartment manager reviewed all the bills. She said that in the future, any bill of more than $500 will be approved by the board. She also promised there will be written documentation of tenants’ incomes from now on.