Lawmakers say HUD is complicit in ‘inhumane’ conditions at Hartford housing project

Lawmakers say HUD is complicit in ‘inhumane’ conditions at Hartford housing project, Rebecca Lurye, Hartford Courant, March 11, 2019, available here

Alexis Crosswell thought she’d freshen up before welcoming her U.S. senators into the Barbour Gardens apartment she shares with her mother, but the water in her shower Monday morning ran freezing cold and then not at all.

So the 22-year-old Hartford woman added the unplanned outage to the litany of failures she and her mother detailed for Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy as they toured their Section 8 project on Monday to see firsthand how some residents are living in publicly subsidized squalor.

While the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is canceling its contract with the owner of Barbour Gardens and another affordable housing complex in Hartford, residents like Crosswell and her mother, tenant organizer Betty Wadley, are stuck in limbo. As they start the monthslong process of relocating to other apartments, they’re still dependent on absentee owners and property managers for necessities like working heat and hot water, pest control and security.

“This is inhumane and totally unhealthy," Murphy said after leaving Crosswell’s apartment, where he and Blumenthal took in the unit’s cinder block walls, extensive mold and water damage and a broken front door with a loose deadbolt.

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