Columbia Housing Authority spent $756K on food, hotel expenses related to Allen Benedict Court shutdown

Columbia Housing Authority spent $756K on food, hotel expenses related to Allen Benedict Court

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A spreadsheet of expenses obtained by WIS shows that the Columbia Housing Authority has incurred nearly three-fourths of $1 million in expenses related to the shuttering of Allen Benedict Court apartments in January.

According to the results of a Freedom of Information Act submitted on March 6 with the Columbia Housing Authority, they have incurred a total of $756,240.77 as of March 6.

The public housing complex shut down in mid-January after two residents were found dead in their apartments on Jan. 17. Their deaths were ruled as carbon monoxide poisoning by the Richland County Coroner’s Office.

The Columbia Police Department and the Columbia Fire Department ruled the property unsafe and forced the evacuation of more than 200 families, more than 400 residents in all, from their homes to safer accomodations.

The expenses are related to housing, travel accomodations, and providing food to the displaced residents. The expenses include:

  • $18,851.36 on DESA (their initial PR firm)
  • $149,654.42 on “credit card hotel” expenses
  • $585.00 on “inspections”
  • $232,966.13 on food and hotel
  • $354,183.86 on relocation

We’ve reached out the the attorneys representing the CHA for clarifications on specifics on some of the expenses and what the inspections consisted of.

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