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Rep. Kristin Marcell Introduces House Bill 2387 to Mandate Annual Audits of PHFA, Citing $121 Million in Unused Funds

(photo: North Penn Now)

Representative Kristin Marcell has introduced House Bill 2387 to mandate annual audits of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency to address transparency and management issues.

Rep. Kristin Marcell Pushes for Annual Audits of PHFA Amid Transparency Concerns

House Bill 2387, introduced by Representative Kristin Marcell, R-Richboro, aims to require the auditor general to conduct yearly audits of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). Currently, audits are done infrequently leading to concerns about the agency’s transparency and effectiveness especially after its failures during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the report of Washington Examiner.

In April, Marcell highlighted that the PHFA hasn’t had a thorough audit in decades, with the last known audit possibly happening in the 1980s. This lack of recent oversight has raised alarms prompting Marcell to push for annual audits to ensure the agency is properly managed.

Marcell argued that without proper audits it would be irresponsible to increase the PHFA’s funding. This is in light of the agency’s poor performance during the pandemic where it only distributed $54 million of the $175 million available for rental and mortgage assistance in 2020. Further issues arose in 2021 when a homeowners assistance program was delayed for over a year due to technical problems.

She emphasized the need for confidence in the PHFA’s ability to manage funds effectively. The agency’s past mismanagement highlights the necessity of regular audits. A 2023 report from the Government Accountability Office also found high fraud risks in federal housing programs due to a lack of audits and weak controls.

READ ALSO: Cash Over Checks: Government’s Radical Plan To Revamp Rental Assistance For Low-Income Families

(photo: Franklin County Free Press)

Addressing Mismanagement and Fraud in Housing Agencies Nationwide

Pennsylvania isn’t alone in facing these issues. Housing agencies in Washington D.C., North Carolina and Oregon have also struggled with mismanagement, fraud, and financial oversight problems. These examples show the widespread need for better control and accountability in housing programs.

The future of House Bill 2387 is uncertain as it awaits action in the House Commerce Committee. Marcell hopes the committee will see the importance of the bill and move it forward to ensure better oversight of the PHFA.

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