The future of Colony Apartments if management avoids federal notice

The future of Colony Apartments if management avoids federal notice
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 8:34 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Residents of the Colony Apartments could be forced to evacuate as soon as March if the complex fails to address a federal list of issues.

More than 300 units have been under evacuation since late December when a power outage revealed a series of life-threatening issues throughout the complex off W. Beltline Blvd.

To date, city officials noted 83 fire violations and 140 code violations not related to heat and water issues.

On Jan. 10, 2023, the United States Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a notice to the Colony Apartments management company, the Monroe Group.

HUD’s letter warns the Monroe Group that Colony Apartments will lose their federal funding if a series of issues are not resolved within 60 days upon receipt. Moreover, every resident will be forced to evacuate permanently.

WIS reached out to the Monroe Group for confirmation of the letter’s delivery. They did not respond to multiple emails or phone calls on Thursday.

A condition of HUD’s order requires management to provide a copy of the notice to every Colony Apartment resident. WIS spoke with several tenants who decided not to go on record for fear of retaliation.

As of Jan. 26, 2023, no one WIS spoke with had received a copy of HUD’s notice. This is 16 days after the letter was mailed.

“I can’t speak for the Monroe group at all. But it’s clear from their response they got the letter. They knew it. Their defense modes went up… This didn’t happen overnight. We’re not here to negotiate. This is going to be fixed. And it’s going to be managed correctly. Or we’re going to have to figure out another relationship with [the Monroe Group] and I don’t know what that answer is,” said Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann

HUD confirmed with WIS that residents would receive federal funds to relocate with housing choice vouchers.

Nonetheless, the Monroe Group has until March to remedy the issues outlined in HUD’s letter. Extensions could be granted by HUD moving forward.

While the Monroe Group did not comment about receiving the letter, they did tell WIS that they lay blame on Columbia’s Code Enforcement Division for an egregiously low property inspection score.

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