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It May Be Time For Joseph Floyd Manor To Come Down
2/24/2016 4:46:05 PM

Site of Joseph Floyd Manor Apartments at 2106 Mt. Pleasant street
By Barney Blakeney

A February 15 fire at Joseph Floyd Manor is the latest incident at the high-rise apartment building that has some elected officials saying it’s time the structure built in the early 1950s be demolished.

Construction was started in 1950 on the 12-story apartment building owned by the Charleston County Housing and Redevelopment Authority that now houses 156 units occupied by the elderly and disabled. Originally named the Darlington Apartments, the building was purchased by the housing authority in 1979 and opened to seniors and the disabled in 1981. In recent years there have been consistent complaints about its continued use to accommodate those vulnerable residents.

In 2009 after a second floor fire, Charleston Rep. Wendell Gilliard leveled numerous criticisms about the building and its management. Gilliard criticized the facility’s management charging that residents in the 156-unit building didn’t get fire drills that familiarize them with procedures in case of fire.

Gilliard at that time met with residents who echoed some of the same complaints they had almost two years previously. Their concerns ranged from safety and security to maintenance. A chief complaint was pest control.

The issue of crime came up as well. According to Charleston police there had been aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies, simple assaults and incidents of vandalism in the building.

Karen Holmes, the building’s 2009 tenant association president said illegal drug use and prostitution also were occurring in the building. The pest infestation problem was almost intolerable, she said.

Charleston City Councilman Robert Mitchell, who represents the residents on city council, said the building either should be totally renovated or demolished. “It’s an old building that needs a lot of work, but it’s owned by the county housing authority and they have to do whatever needs to be done. I don’t think they can continue to operate it as it is,” he said.

Henry Darby, who represents the residents on Charleston County Council, said the county wants to assist the housing authority in any way possible, but ultimately the two are separate entities.

“If it were up to me, I’d tear the building down and put those people in some other housing - scattered site housing,” he said. “But I don’t see that happening. I’ve asked my people what we can do and I’ve gotten no communication from the housing authority as to the future of the residents. There’s no desire from the federal government to help poor people so it’s up to the faith-based community to step up. We’re all aware of the problems,” Darby said.

Efforts to speak with housing authority officials were unsuccessful by press time.

Visitor Comments

Submitted By: Howard Green Submitted: 7/2/2016
Joseph floyd manor officials contact me about renting a bedroom. My number is 443-522-7355. My name is howard green.

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