HUD’s flawed oversight of living conditions in federally subsidized housing can leave people living among rats, roaches, mold and other dangerous conditions for years. The lack of solutions for small- and mid-sized cities is the affordable housing crisis nobody’s talking about.
The shuttering of public housing complexes in two small Midwestern towns raises big questions for residents, HUD and Congress. To tell the story, I could use your help.
A scramble for housing in southern Illinois has exposed mixed messages and false hope. “It’s betrayal, really,” one resident said of the way she’s been treated by HUD.
Where we live becomes part of who we are. It affects our quality of life. That’s why I report on low-income housing.
“They Painted Over Problems”: How Residents of One Affordable Housing Complex Went From Hope to Despair
Twenty years after a private developer took over an affordable housing complex, the property has deteriorated once again and is in need of a multimillion-dollar renovation. A multilayered and confusing financial situation has left some tenants distressed.
Illinois’ HUD inspection failure rate is among the worst in the nation. A housing authority has delayed replacing one property for more than a decade. As the need for public housing rises, conditions in the aging structures are deteriorating.
Across the country, publicly subsidized housing residents have discovered that passing scores on HUD inspections often don't match the reality of their living conditions. Look up housing complex scores near you.
Trump Called Baltimore “Vermin Infested” While the Federal Government Fails to Clean Up Rodents in Subsidized Housing
Baltimore’s public housing is among the most dilapidated and dangerous in the country — nearly half of complexes failed inspection — and Trump just spent a week attacking the city on Twitter.
The Government Accountability Office’s findings mirror those of an investigation by The Southern Illinoisan and ProPublica, which documented numerous cases in which substandard housing complexes received passing — and even glowing — scores from HUD.
A plan recently announced by the agency doesn’t address its much-maligned scoring system, despite recommendations drafted in 2016 by senior department officials.
The contract for the agency’s electronic system for managing FOIA requests lapsed in early January and hasn’t been renewed. Delays are mounting.
My goal this year was to explore HUD’s failure to enforce legal standards for decent, safe, sanitary housing. What started as a simple premise brought to light greater challenges: Years of congressional cuts have left the agency in a state of chaos as communities suffer.
A housing consultant was recorded bragging about how he helped properties pass HUD inspections, likening it to a “chess game manipulation strategy.”
HUD Took Over a Town’s Housing Authority 22 Years Ago. Now the Authority’s Broke and Residents Are Being Pushed Out.
As recently as last year, HUD had told officials in Wellston, Missouri, that they would get their local housing authority back. Then federal officials changed their minds. Wellston will join a growing list of HUD oversight failures, including the Illinois cities of East St. Louis and Cairo.
Officials said the city’s housing authority used “every trick in the book to conceal building violations from federal inspectors,” but HUD inspection records suggest there’s more to the story.
“Pretty Much a Failure”: HUD Inspections Pass Dangerous Apartments Filled With Rats, Roaches and Toxic Mold
The system for inspecting federally subsidized properties is failing low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities and undermining the agency’s oversight, The Southern Illinoisan and ProPublica have found.
The government inspects taxpayer-subsidized apartment buildings. See which ones passed and failed.
Dangerous buildings sometimes pass inspections and scores whipsaw with seemingly little explanation, an analysis by The Southern Illinoisan and ProPublica has found. The system has led to a culture of making cosmetic fixes and avoiding major repairs.
Last year, HUD Secretary Ben Carson gave control of the city’s public housing complexes back to local officials after a lengthy federal receivership. He said problems had been fixed, but an investigation by The Southern Illinoisan and ProPublica found deteriorating conditions.
Ben Carson Declared Mission Accomplished in East St. Louis — Where Public Housing Is Still a Disaster
The HUD secretary came to town last year and declared residents were no longer at risk, three decades after the federal government took over public housing here. In fact, the complexes are falling apart and a woman was killed in the weeks before his visit.
ProPublica is teaming up with The Southern Illinoisan to examine the public housing crisis in small and mid-sized cities around the country.
As residents in Cairo, Illinois, dealt with mice, toxic mold and lead paint, HUD officials waited to step in, according to a report from the agency’s inspector general. HUD “could and should have done more to oversee it,” a new report says.
Two new reports found that HUD didn’t properly oversee inspections or removal of lead-based paint in public housing complexes across the country.