CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State Representative Wendell Gilliard is requesting an emergency meeting with U.S. Congressman Jim Clyburn to address the conditions at Joseph Floyd Manor, a senior public housing building in downtown Charleston.
Gilliard sent a letter Tuesday with the request.
The letter comes after he and other leaders in Charleston County visited the building and spoke with residents about their concerns.
“Residents shared with us the poor living conditions that affect their quality of life,” Gilliard said in the letter. “Before seeing the sub par conditions firsthand, we knew that it would be a major project to clean and restore the Joseph Floyd Manor to an acceptable standard. But after inspecting the facility, it appears that a complete rebuild is necessary.”
The building is operated by the Charleston County Housing and Redevelopment Authority. A board member, Laura Morris, says they more than welcome support from local elected officials. Morris says they have been trying to do something about that building for 10 years and they don’t have the money to do anything about it. She says they are happy to have their support.
Gilliard says the federal government provides 85 percent of funding for this type of housing which is why he would like to meet with Clyburn.
“The conditions at Joseph Floyd Manor are most definitely subhuman and deplorable!” Gilliard wrote in the letter. “We must request of you to send a representative or team of individuals to help us.”
The chairman of the Charleston County council and other members are also pushing for efforts to improve conditions at the building.
Council Member Henry Darby says they are planning to discuss the issues at a County Council meeting on May 28.
Darby says the manor is not an entity of Charleston County Council, but they see a need to take care of county residents.
Darby says a tour revealed that conditions were "miserable and deplorable" and says there are roaches, bed bugs and rats. He also says there are no ventilation or cameras in the hallways, the stairwells need cleaning, there is improper lighting and that it's "a shame to see."
Darby says Charleston County Council gave the housing authority $300,000. Council will be requesting how that money was used.
Darby says he along with Charleston County Chairman Elliot Summey and Gilliard are working on finding a temporary short-term place for residents to stay as they figure out what the best solution is for addressing the concerns there.
Gilliard says Clyburn’s office responded to his letter. Live 5 News also reached out to his Clyburn’s office for a comment.