Section 8 Failures in Detroit

A Detroit Free Press expose reveals the neglect of lead-based paint inspections in many properties that accept Section 8 vouchers, and the children who are paying for it.
October 30, 2003, 9am PST | Connie Chung
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"The Free Press found that flaking paint, clearly visible to a visitor, often wasn't noted by inspectors. Landlords were rarely forced to fix peeling paint. And in Detroit--with an estimated 10,000 lead-poisoned children...the Detroit Housing Commission has not shared Section 8 addresses with the Health Department, as it is required by the federal government to do....Landlords can drop out of the Section 8 program -- and many do -- when faced with repair bills. Tenants hesitate to complain for fear they will be evicted and lose their voucher." One affordable housing advocate noted that "so much of the housing in Detroit is substandard that even those who get Section 8 vouchers have trouble finding places to use them. " 'People end up in bad housing because there's nowhere else to go...It's not that they want to expose their children to lead. They just have no other options'....HUD's review of the Detroit Housing Commission this year found the city's Section 8 program to be disorganized, short-staffed and performing inadequate lead inspections."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 in The Detroit Free Press

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