Lax oversight by the Treasury Department has helped to prevent billions of dollars in aid from reaching struggling homeowners, according to a report released Tuesday by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The Hardest Hit Fund, established in February 2010 as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, was created to provide assistance to homeowners in areas most damaged by the housing crisis. The Treasury was charged with overseeing homeowner assistance programs administered by state housing finance agencies in 18 states and Washington, D.C.

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