Shutdown is already endangering families in public housing, and it could get much worse
Some of America’s poorest families, including many elderly people and people with disabilities, are already suffering from Donald Trump’s government shutdown, and it could get much, much worse if the shutdown stretches into February. But don’t expect Trump or Senate Republicans to care, because these are, after all, poor people.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has been forced to suspend health and safety inspections:
“It’s been devastating — we have families and kids with asthma living where the mold situation is out of control,” said Cori Mackey, executive director of the Christian Activities Council, a social justice group in Hartford, Connecticut.
Last week, the floor collapsed under the crutches of one Hartford tenant in a privately owned HUD-funded property, crashing into the ceiling of the neighbor living below her, Mackey said. When a handyman pulled up the floorboards, “it was just covered in black mold,” she said.
That’s a building where tenants were waiting for the results of an inspection—if the building failed, as expected, families might have gotten assistance to move to a building that wasn’t crumbling and moldy.
Worse could be coming, though, as public housing agencies run out of funding and families that get Section 8 vouchers to live in private rentals could be evicted en masse, while necessary repairs aren’t made, potentially endangering lives.