Rats, Roaches, Mold: Under USDA’s Watch, Some Rural Public Housing is Falling Apart


Unlike public housing complexes in metropolitan areas, which are supervised by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the rural properties are overseen by the USDA — an agency best known for supporting food and farms, not affordable housing. Amid staffing cuts and with limited resources to fix aging buildings, the USDA has pared back its housing inspection protocol, provides little public information about properties’ physical conditions and can be slow to take enforcement action when housing fails to meet federal standards, NBC News found in an investigation based on USDA documents, including inspection records and emails; government watchdog reports; and interviews with tenants, local officials and a dozen current and former housing officials. Read more.