Plans to improve ‘absurd’ conditions at Charleston public housing building

Updated: May. 25, 2020 at 7:15 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State Representative Wendell Gilliard hosted a virtual town hall meeting on Monday afternoon to talk about the poor conditions of the Joseph Floyd Manor in Charleston.

Gilliard has been working for years to improve conditions like a lack of air conditioning and broken water systems.

“This is everybody’s problem,” Gilliard said during Monday’s town hall. “All our efforts [have been] about the quality of living for our seniors.”

During the town hall, a woman named Katherine Leach called in to talk about her experience living at Joseph Floyd Manor.

“I’ve lived in Joseph Floyd for two years too long,” Leach said. "They they don’t seem like they understand what they promised us. I’ve had problems with rats, roaches. Everything they offer you is not up to par.”

She also complained about bed bugs and how it took the building management a month to fix her bed bug problem.

Gilliard said most of the building’s funding comes from the federal government through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Charleston County Councilman Henry Darby said he’s upset with the department after a recent walk-through he did in the building.

“I’m very upset in terms of the federal government and what it has done,” he said during the town hall meeting. “We walked in that building and there was no lighting, no ventilation...there’s no cameras, people defecating on the floor urinating on the floor. We’re not going to tolerate that. No one should be living in bed bugs, that is absurd. That is crazy.”

Gilliard has some short and long term plans for the building he wants to discuss with the county council at its meeting on Thursday at 5 p.m. Those plans include moving residents out for about three months to deep clean, putting in a new security system and working with the county and city to create a master plan to rehabilitate and modernize the property.

These officials ask anyone with interest in improving the building’s conditions to speak up at Thursday’s council meeting.

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