SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -Earlier this month, a fire killed a woman at the Savannah Summit apartment complex.
It also brought attention to the uninhabitable living conditions current residents are facing at the section 8 housing.
After city councilmen saw the conditions, they called in the big guns. Congressman Buddy Carter came down to tour the complex. He now plans to advocate on behalf of the residents to the Housing and Urban Development Department.
“The mold, the mold," said Councilwoman Estrella Shabazz. "The disrepair of the water damage that is so present in every apartment we went in.”
At a Savannah Summit resident meeting over a week ago, local leaders said the only way forward was to get Congressman Buddy Carter inside to see the place for himself. Over the weekend, they delivered their promise.
“They came inside the building and we went into some apartments," said Ellen Corley, a Savannah Summit resident. "They were able to see just what we are living in. It’s not some kind of stretched story but it is exactly what we are living in.”
“People should not have to live in those type of circumstances whether it be subsidized housing or whatever," said Congressman Carter. "No one should have to be put in that situation.”
WTOC walked through a floor level apartment that floods each time it rains. Residents have placed these sandbags outside and taped down towels as a bandaid. On top of that, there are still massive holes in some ceilings. Alderwoman Shabazz says a few years ago, the place didn’t look anything like this.
“It didn’t quite look the way it looked," said Councilwoman Shabazz. "It was home. It looked like home, but it doesn’t look like that now. It’s an outright neglect from maintenance and the ownership and the management of that building.”
Section 8 housing landlords receive their money from both HUD and the tenants. Residents can’t seem to figure out why they don’t make the repairs.
“Why can’t some of that money fix this building?" asked Councilwoman Shabazz. "Where is that money going? That is 12 million dollars a year. Where’s the money at?”
Congressman Buddy Carter says Saturday's visit is moving these repairs forward.
“We have federal and local levels communicating together and our office has facilitated the city officials and trying to get in touch with HUD, the appropriate agency there as well as property management, so I feel like we are making progress there.”
According to residents and Alderwoman Shabazz, Savannah Code Enforcement is currently in recorders court against Ambling Properties who owns Savannah Summit. These are regarding conditions over a year ago.