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Macon Gardens could lose federal funding

A federal agency could cut off funding soon for a troubled Macon housing complex.

Wednesday, we told you that tenants at Macon Gardens were cautiously optimistic about an Atlanta-based company buying the complex.

Macon Gardens has 131 units and they're all Section 8 subsidized housing for low-income people.

That means public funds pay most of the rent there.

HUD spokesperson Joe Philips says July 31st is a make or break deadline for Macon Gardens.

They stand to lose all of their federal funding because of deficiencies found by inspectors on February 25th.

Their score: 40 out of 100.

Now, we don't know exactly what led to such a low score, but HUD does have a list of the top 20 deficiencies they say make a significant difference in the inspection score.

They include many of the problems shown before, namely faulty plumbing, clogged storm water sewers, damaged doors, leaking faucets, and damaged showers.

Phillips says the complex has agreed to fix these things by July 31st.

If they don't make those changes, HUD will immediately stop funding the complex.

If they do, HUD will conduct another inspection.

If they fail that inspection, HUD will still revoke their funding.

HUD says also calls management at the complex unsatisfactory.

In our coverage from January of this year, Phillips says HUD began looking into problems there only after our stories aired.

That was also the case in 2012, when the complex got another failing score: 57 out of 100.

Phillips says this time things will be different. He says this is the complex's last shot at getting it right.

If HUD does cut funding, tenants will get housing choice vouchers to live in one of about 30 other HUD-subsidized complexes in Macon.
all of which currently have higher HUD scores than Macon Gardens.

Phillips says he didn't know how that would affect dealings with the Benoit Group, an Atlanta company that wants to buy the complex.

The company plans to invest $10 million into fixing it up.


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