Garden Circle Apartment residents uncertain of when they can return

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 10:28 AM EST
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SUMTER, S.C. (WIS) - It’s been nearly a week since 47 tenants from Garden Circle Apartments were relocated after multiple fire safety issues were discovered. 

Those tenants still have no idea when they will return home and feel it might still be a few weeks before it’s safe to return.

“Tomorrow will be a week since we’ve been here,” a complex resident said. “Everyone is stressing because nobody knows where they’re going to go next.”

The tenants were moved into local motels on Tuesday, Nov. 7, following an investigation by the Sumter Fire Department. Those residents were told they would be allowed back into their apartments by the end of that week on Friday, Nov.

“We just don’t really know what’s going to happen,” a complex resident said, adding, “Even when we were living in the building...the communication hasn’t been quite where it should be.”

Some residents still don’t know when the building will be back up to code.

In addition to the broken fire safety systems and elevator, they said issues from leaks to mold have become more frequent in the building over time.

“It could take a while, they have to have an inspection, and the building has to be up to code before we can go back in there,” resident Quheira Robinson said. “It’s unsafe for anyone to go back in there; I have mold in my apartment that has not been dealt with since August.”

WIS News 10 also reached out to SC Housing, which administers tax credits to tenants of Garden City Apartments. They provided the following statement in response:

“The property has been noncompliant with SC Housing’s compliance and monitoring standards which means the facility has not been meeting the agency’s physical inspection standards. SC Housing is working with the compliance and monitoring tools at our disposal to resolve this situation with the property’s management.”

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