COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – New details from the most recent inspection of the Ralston Towers show deplorable conditions inside the low-income downtown apartment building, home to nearly 200 residents.
The company that owns and manages the building, New Jersey-based PF Holdings, does not allow news cameras inside the building, but the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development inspectors have been inside three times since early July.
The Oct. 25 inspection is damning, pointing out everything from systems issues to rat and insect infestations across the building.
News 3 obtained a copy of the latest inspection, a 91-page report through federal Freedom of Information laws. The report detailed why the building received an score of 30.39, far below the required 60 points to pass. The building scored a 42 in July.
Following the score from October, HUD gave notice that the federal agency had begun the process of ending their Section 8 contract with the building and its owners.
While the score itself was made public months ago, News 3 now has the details.
Here are some of the issues cited in the report:
In an expanded inspection of 50 units, twice the typical inspection of a 25 unit sample, HUD inspectors noted 102 health and safety deficiencies.
The Ralston’s boiler system, elevators, fire alarms, lead-based paint disclosures, and lead-based paint inspections all had certificates that were not provided, or had expired.
Additionally, for the majority of the building’s systems, the HUD inspection notes that “Point deductions for this sub-area exceed the number of points. The points received cannot be negative, so it is set to zero.”
The HUD inspection report summary lists several damages throughout the building. Those deficiencies include:
- A leaking central water supply
- Unusable or blocked emergency fire exits
- Missing breakers and fuses
- Exposed wiring and open electrical panels
- Holes in the building’s exterior walls
- Buckled ceilings
- Damaged locks
- Inoperable auxiliary lighting and emergency power
- Missing drains, cleanout, and manhole covers in the sanitary system.
Documentation for emergency power systems was not available to HUD inspectors, according to the report.
In the summary, HUD inspectors noted that “If all buildings and units were inspected, it is projected that a total of 425 health and safety deficiencies would apply to the property.”
Of the 50 units inspected during HUD’s latest visit, 24 had insect and roach infestations. Multiple infestations were noted in the common areas, including rats, mice, vermin, insects and roaches.
Inspectors noted that 13 of the units were not inspected–12 of those reported as “No Access” and one reported with no inspection due to “Other Hazard.”
Of the units inspected, 12 were given negative point values, leaving their scores at zero.
The report noted that the building’s sprinkler system was operational.
Read the whole inspection report below: