Rural Housing Service: Agency Has Overestimated Its Rental Assistance Budget Needs over the Life of the Program

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Rural Housing Service's (RHS) Section 521 Rental Assistance Program provides rental subsidies to about 250,000 rural tenants through 5-year contracts with project owners; 20-year contracts were also issued from 1978 through 1982. In early 2003, RHS reported hundreds of millions of dollars in unexpended balances, primarily tied to 5- and 20-year contracts issued from 1978 through 1982. Since contracts remain active until all funds are expired, some of these contracts will likely last as long as 38 years. GAO was asked to assess (1) the ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. May 20, 2004.

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Rural Housing Service's (RHS) Section 521 Rental Assistance Program provides rental subsidies to about 250,000 rural tenants through 5-year contracts with project owners; 20-year contracts were also issued from 1978 through 1982. In early 2003, RHS reported hundreds of millions of dollars in unexpended balances, primarily tied to 5- and 20-year contracts issued from 1978 through 1982. Since contracts remain active until all funds are expired, some of these contracts will likely last as long as 38 years. GAO was asked to assess (1) the activity level of rental assistance contracts issued from 1978 through 1997 that have unexpended balances and the possibility of deobligating these balances, and (2) the activity level of rental assistance contracts issued from 1998 through 2002 and the accuracy of RHS's estimates of the rate at which these funds would be used. The Department of Agriculture commented on our responses to these questions."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • May 20, 2004

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Rural Housing Service: Agency Has Overestimated Its Rental Assistance Budget Needs over the Life of the Program, report, May 20, 2004; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302823/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.