Ralston deadline nears as owners inform residents work ongoing

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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – If there is a massive cleanup effort going on inside the Ralston Tower, it is certainly happening outside public view.

The New Jersey-based owners of the downtown Columbus low-income apartment building are under a HUD deadline to clean the place up, and the 60-day clock runs out at the end of the month.

News 3 has obtained a copy of a letter property managers sent residents last week.

The letter dated September 4 states:

— “There will be a contractor on-site between September 5, 2019 and September 25, 2019.”

— “Please assure that your apartment has no housekeeping issues. Clean, clean, clean.

Residents say there is some painting and floor work going on, but not much else that they can see.

In July, HUD inspectors failed the facility — 42 out of 100. On August 1st, HUD put the owners on notice that changes had to happen to make the building safe and sanitary.

That started the 60-day notice that ends Sept. 30.

The day the HUD letter became public, two congressmen and Columbus mayor Skip Henderson called the conditions inside the Ralston deplorable.

The elected officials are also applying pressure on HUD.

The Ralston’s owners, PF Holdings of New Jersey, have until the end of the month to bring the facility into compliance with HUD regulations. If that does not happen, HUD can take away the federal housing vouchers used by all of the Ralston residents.

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