Analysis: Health, safety inspectors put Maryland public housing last

In this Feb. 25, 2019 photo, dusk settles over Rosemont Tower in Baltimore. Health and safety inspectors gave the 200-unit public housing high-rise a failing score of 25 out of a possible 100 in 2017. The score improved to 71 last year, according to housing authority officials. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Almost a third of public housing inspections in Maryland have resulted in failing health and safety scores. An analysis of federal data by The Associated Press shows that’s the worst performance in the country.

Old, rundown complexes in Baltimore are the main culprit. Federal and city data show that 22 of 37 Baltimore sites failed their most recent inspections.

The Housing Authority of Baltimore City blames the problems on long-term underfunding by the federal government.

Statewide, public housing buildings failed 32% of inspections since 2013.

The problems extend beyond Maryland. The District of Columbia had the country’s second worst failure rate at 29%.

Inspection scores have declined for years nationally at subsidized apartments assigned to low-income tenants both in public housing and private buildings. Meanwhile, few operators face serious consequences.

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