Mississippi gets low grades on federal housing inspections

April 9, 2019
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In this Feb. 20, 2019 photo, Destiny Johnson shows the broken door to her oven that she uses string to hold together, in her apartment in Cedarhurst Homes, a federally subsidized, low-income apartment complex in Natchez, Miss. The complex failed a health and safety inspection in each of the past three years. Upset with conditions, Johnson moved out in late March. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — The subsidized apartments that house some of Mississippi’s poorest residents have failed 10% of health and safety inspections.

An Associated Press analysis of federal housing data shows that’s the second-highest rate in the country since 1999. Only Louisiana fared worse.

Experts say that, despite payments from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, landlords in communities with low rents often find it hard to raise funds for repairs.

The AP’s analysis of data released in January shows that inspection scores have been declining nationwide for years in privately owned apartments that HUD assigns to tenants. Meanwhile, operators keep collecting rent payments from the agency, and few face serious consequences.

At 12%, Louisiana’s failure rate was the country’s highest.