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Little local oversight for Macon Gardens Apartments | News

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Little local oversight for Macon Gardens Apartments

For more than a week a Macon woman and her child have lived with sewage backing up into her apartment. It's happening at a federally funded housing complex.

Monday 13WMAZ tried to find out what authorities are doing about it.

Many of you asked us on Facebook why the Health Department hasn't been involved in fixing the plumbing issues in Macon Gardens.

Raw sewage is still backing up into Lakesha King's bathtub and has now spread to her carpet.
13WMAZ's Kristen Swilley visited Friday. She went back Monday. From what she could see the problem's gotten worse.

Health officials can't do much about that.

Macon Gardens is a HUD property, and Bibb County's Environmental Health Director Rick Craft says that puts it outside of the Health Department's jurisdiction.

He told her HUD regulations keep local agencies from conducting inspections inside the buildings.
Only when a problem inside causes an environmental issue outside can health department inspectors get involved.

Today, Health Director Rick Craft suggested I talk to the Macon Bibb Economic and Community Development Office.

She went there and heard pretty much the same thing.

They haven't been able to inspect the property since 2009, when HUD took over.

She called HUD's regional office in Atlanta five times today looking for answers as to why they haven't fixed it since it can't be done locally.

I left voice mails for the spokesman and the office of the regional director. No one called me back.

They'll then have to wait for the Atlanta office to conduct an inspection.

There's no way of telling when that might happen.

In September 2012 spokesman Joe Phillips admitted that the agency should have done a followup inspection soon after inspectors gave the complex a failing score of 35 the year before.But they didn't.

The HUD inspectors didn't return until we did a follow-up story on more problems there. The score on that latest inspection.was 57 out of 100.


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