Exclusive: HUD puts Ralston owners on notice building not ‘decent, safe, and sanitary’

Local News

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has put the owners of Ralston Towers on notice that the low-income apartment complex is not in compliance.

The notice comes after a HUD inspection of the facility on July 8. The building, which as 269 units that almost all federally subsidized, failed that inspection, according to a letter from HUD Asset Management Director Mark Dominick to PF Holdings President Isaac Ebrenfeld.

The letter was dated Thursday.

By being out of compliance PF Holdings risks losing the more than 200 Section 8 housing vouchers it receives monthly from HUD. The Ralston is a project-based Section 8 facility and the vouchers are controlled by the owner and not the local housing authority or the residents, as is the case with other Section 8 vouchers.

The Ralson scored a 42, according to the letter. This is well below the 60 that is passing. They were given 60 days to bring the building into compliance or possibly lose the vouchers.

“The inspection report, which HUD has made available to the
Owner, identified serious deficiencies that demonstrate that the Owner is in default of its statutory, contractual, and/or regulatory duties to maintain the Project in decent, safe, and sanitary condition,” the letter read in part.

The letter comes days before U.S. Congressmen Drew Ferguson, R, and Sanford Bishop, D, were to tour the facility with Mayor Skip Henderson.

The inspection also came less than a week after a Muscogee County State Court jury hit the owners of the Ralston with a $125 million wrongful death verdict. Resident Charles Hart died in a room that was almost 100 degrees in July 2017.

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