Public housing authorities in Louisiana were created in Title 40 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes (R.S.). R.S. 40:392 authorizes housing authorities in all cities and parishes, however, the authorities are not permitted to conduct business until certain conditions, defined in R.S. 40:392-395, are met.
All or most of the funding for housing authorities in Louisiana comes directly to the individual housing authority from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, because housing authorities are set up under either a parish governing authority or a municipality, they are considered to be local auditees; and are required to provide an annual financial report to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA).
Housing authorities provide housing assistance to low income individuals through two programs –
- Low income housing program, whereby ownership of the rental units is in the name of the housing authority
- Section 8 housing program, whereby ownership of the rental units is in the name of private landlords
Each housing authority is governed by a five-member board of commissioners who are appointed by the mayor or the parish governing authority, and serve three-year staggered terms.
Most housing authorities provide annual financial reports to LLA separately from their related parish governing authority or municipality. Some parish governing authorities or municipalities administer a Section 8 program without a housing authority board. Those programs are usually accounted for in the parish governing authority’s annual financial report.
The Louisiana Compliance Questionnaire requires housing authorities to provide statements or representations to their auditor regarding their compliance with certain provisions laws and regulations. Auditors are required to test the housing authority’s compliance with these laws and regulations.