Mold inspections reveal abysmal living conditions in Maine public housing

Maine's public housing program has come under fire recently following the release of a report that found considerable damage existed in nearly all of the 32 properties in the southern part of the state that were subjected to a home inspection.

The report has drawn the ire of Maine senator Susan Collins, who expressed frustration that the houses had previously passed inspection, even though they were surely in disrepair at that time. She did not appreciate that taxpayer money was being channeled into the properties when their owners did not properly maintain them.

"The bottom line is people who live in federally subsidized housing should expect decent, safe, and sanitary conditions," Collins said, according to The Bangor Daily News. "Unfortunately, this report shows that federal funds are instead going to property owners who fail to properly maintain their units. This is absolutely unacceptable."

Although states of disrepair varied depending on the property, photographs taken in the homes found plaster and other forms of debris throughout both the interiors and exteriors of the building, faulty and dangerous electrical wiring hanging down from ceilings and mold growth that resulted from a ceiling collapse.

While the discouraging results of the inspections point specifically toward inadequacies in Maine's public housing program, it also reveals the importance of regular home inspections to guarantee that properties remain safe to residents, offering them an environment that is conducive to them raising families.

This incident brings back memories of a similar flare-up involving veterans' homes in Norfolk, Virginia, that this blog reported on in January. At the time, a Washington, D.C. home inspector found significant mold growth in the properties, which could have been saved had they been more closely monitored.

Homeowners can learn from both incidents by using a dehumidifier in the more humid months and in part of the home that are not well ventilated. This will prevent the need for a regular mold inspection, but having one certainly cannot hurt.