WASHINGTON — Nevada should repay more than $8 million in federal funds intended to help homeowners avoid foreclosure but instead was spent on parties, gifts and other improper expenses, a federal audit released Friday concludes.

The devastating audit says the money from the Hardest Hit Fund of the Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program was used to cover these and other administrative expenses of the Nevada Affordable Housing Assistance Corporation, which administered the program on behalf of the Nevada Housing Division.

As the funds came in, however, the number of homeowners helped by the program plummeted from 2,111 in 2013 to 541 in 2014 and 117 in 2015.

Auditors argued that the Housing Assistance Corporation was using the TARP funds to pay most of its overhead including salaries and rent and therefore should repay $7.4 million.

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