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Fort Benning Estates residents concerned about living conditions

COLUMBUS, GA (WRBL) - Residents at Fort Benning Estates are speaking out after they say they received a notice telling them to be out of their homes in a few days. 

The condemnation notice comes from John Hudgison with Columbus Inspection and Codes, citing the homes at Fort Benning Estates are unfit to live in. 

A team of inspectors met residents at 9 a.m. Monday morning to investigate their complaints. Among the problems- no hot water, no electricity and raw sewage seeping into their front yards.

News 3 spoke with several residents and one told me she was hurt when she saw the letter. 

"It's scary, we all have kids. I know the city said they were gonna do what they could to make sure we were all housed but that doesn't help anything," says resident Katie Eberly. 

Eberly was one of the residents that received the notice saying her and her family had to be out of their home in a few days. the notice says that Fort Benning Estates was unfit to live in due to a lack of disposal of sewage, lack of hot water and electricity causing John Hudgison and his team to investigate. 

"There are several trailers that have septic issues, where it's leaking out on the ground, garbage issues here, and trailers are just falling apart and they don't want to do anything about it," Eberly continues. 

There was an area where one resident says they just covered the open sewage with hay. Eberly says that was common with the maintenance team. 

"They said that they fixed the issue but we had a plumber come out here last month and he said he couldn't fix anything until everything was dug up cause there are roots and everything else growing through the plumbing," Eberly says. 

Along with sewage problems, resident Bruce Scott says he had other problems worrying him. 

"They don't have a light. And I called them for a smoke alarm and they still didn't bring me a smoke alarm," Scott says. 

Through all of these complaints, Hudgison says he investigated about 70 units.

"We condemned about 30 units, where the doors were wide open, structural failures, you could see the floors were falling in and those things like that, so we proceeded to condemn them," Hudgison says. 

But resident Artaga Murphy says that's not nearly enough. "My thing is they should shut it down. Move people somewhere until they fix it," she says. 

However, that's not something that resident Al Pasmore wants to hear who was once homeless. "I didn't have anywhere to stay. I've been in this place ever since... that's been some years ago. Now they're about to close down, I'm not going to have a place to stay again," Pasmore says. 

Hudgison says he just wants to help.

"We don't want to put people out on the streets but we also don't want people living in unsafe conditions. So we'll be out here every week to make sure progress is being made."


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