U.S. Congressmen, Columbus Mayor to tour Ralston Towers facilities

U.S. Congressmen, Columbus Mayor to tour Ralston Towers facilities

Congressman Sanford Bishop and Congressman Drew Ferguson joined Henderson on a tour of Ralston Towers on Friday.

The group will tour common areas of the facility as well as vacant units.

This comes after a $125 million wrongful death lawsuit of a man who died at the apartment complex in 2017.

Mayor Henderson said there have been ongoing problems at the facility for over two years and the low-income individuals are not being provided a facility that meets the minimum standard expected.

People who live at the Ralston, a 10-story apartment building in Uptown Columbus, said they’ve dealt with a lot of problems, including Chris Lowe who’s lived there more than 15 years.

“I would like to have a judge tell the owners of this place they have to live here a month, with no car, no transportation, no nothing and see how they like it. What will they think about it then,”Lowe said.

“It is absolutely unacceptable," said Ferguson. "When you walk through, ceiling tiles are missing, there’s exposed wiring, there’s exposed pipes, all of that is completely unacceptable. It’s not something you would want your family to live in. We shouldn’t ask our fellow Americans to live there either.”

“I’m not saying shut it down because people won’t have no where to go. I won’t have no where to go. But they need to do something because this is totally unfair," said resident Lueshionea Sexton.

Bishop said a recent inspection shows the building does not meet the safe, decent, and sanitary standards of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

If the owner of the Ralston, PF Holdings, does not improve the building and meet standards, they could lose their contract with HUD or worse.

“We are obligated to help protect the health, safety and welfare of the people we represent," Bishop said. "This is a challenge to us and we want to do everything we can possibly do to protect the residents here, protect their health, their safety, and their welfare, and this is just not that.”

“Our intention is to re-evaluate whether or not it’s the right organization to partner with,” said Henderson.

Watch the full press conference Congressmen Bishop and Ferguson gave alongside Mayor Henderson below.

WATCH LIVE: U.S. Congressmen, Columbus mayor give update after tour of Ralston Towers. >>> https://bit.ly/2TajTWn

Posted by WTVM News Leader 9 on Monday, August 5, 2019

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