CHA apologizes ‘for everything that has happened,’ residents remain hesitant to speak openly to media

CHA apologizes ‘for everything that has happened,’ residents remain hesitant to speak openly to media

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As of Thursday afternoon, Columbia Housing Authority tells WIS about 50 families still don’t have a Section 8 Voucher for permanent housing.

CHA said they’ll have all of those out by Friday, but some people say that’s not soon enough.

WIS spoke with an anonymous resident who has gone from hotel to hotel the last couple of weeks.

Prior to a special meeting held on Thursday, the resident said his biggest complaint is the housing authority never provided a simple “I’m sorry” to residents.

“Ain’t nobody apologize. Nobody,” he said. “They fake apologize, they ain’t no real. I never heard nobody really say well Allen Benedict Court, we are the housing and we are sorry that this had to happen. I haven’t heard nobody say that yet.”

In a special meeting held on Thursday, CHA Executive Director Gilbert Walker addressed the media with this statement: “We apologize for everything that has happened. We apologize and I would not wish this on anyone.”

The anonymous resident tells WIS none of this should have happened in the first place and it shouldn’t have taken two people to die to get to this point.

The anonymous resident continued to highlight the point that every time residents would file a work order, little to nothing would be done, and nothing was ever fixed, he said.

As for him staying anonymous, that’s still the norm for many residents WIS has talked to.

WIS asked CHA attorney Bob Coble if residents were asked to not speak to media. He said all residents are free to talk to media and that wouldn’t affect when and where they would get housed.

CHA also voted to order an “independent and comprehensive investigation” related to what happened at Allen Benedict Court Apartments.

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