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HUD may end Macon Gardens subsidies

A federal agencies says they'll end the contract for housing subsidies at the troubled Macon Gardens Apartments unless management fixes problems there within two months.

That's according to Joseph Phillips, spokesman for the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development in Atlanta.

He says the agency notified Macon Gardens of the move after they scored a 40, out of 100 points, on a February inspection.

People living at Macon Gardens have complained for years about health and safety problems at the 131-unit complex.

Public money pays most of the rent at the Macon Garden Apartments, and HUD admits they haven't followed up on problems there.

On Thursday, Phillips said the owners have agreed to fix all the problems from the February inspection by July 31. If they don't, the agency will stop the flow of federal money to the complex.

Asbury Snow, managing partner for the company that owns Macon Gardens, declined comment Thursday.

In May 2011, federal inspectors gave Macon Gardens a score of 35 - the lowest score in Macon that year at a HUD-subsidized complex and one of the lowest in the state.

The next year, 13WMAZ reported on problems at the complex, which included mold, holes in walls,boarded-up windows and sewage backing up into bathtubs.

On the next inspection, after that story, they received another failing score, 57,

But HUD admits they never followed up, after that report, to see if management fixed the problems.

Here is Phillips' statement:

As a consequence of the latest HUD Management Review (performed February 21, 2014, overall Unsatisfactory rating) and Real Estate Assessment Center Inspection (performed February 25, 2014, score 40) of Macon Gardens Apartments the owner was subsequently notified and has agreed to complete all repairs by July 31.

If we don't receive the owner's written Physical Condition Compliance Certification by July 31st that the repairs are complete and the property is ready for re-inspection, we will proceed to abate (stop) the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract.

The HAP contract is the subsidy contract that provides the rental assistance for eligible tenants.

If we do receive the Certification and find it acceptable, we will order a re-inspection of the property.

If the property fails the re-inspection, we will immediately proceed to abate the subsidy contract.

If we determine that we must proceed to abate the subsidy we will coordinate with the HUD Office of Public Housing to reserve funding and secure HUD Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) for the tenants at Macon Gardens who are eligible for continued rental assistance. The tenants that receive HCVs will be given a list of participating properties in the Macon-Bibb County area that will accept the HCVs.

Joseph J. Phillips

U. S. Department of Housing & Urban Development

Region IV (One Region, One HUD)

Office of Public Affairs


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