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Press Release: Creekside Village Apartments (January 9, 2023)

The Housing Authority of Florence has owned and managed the Creekside Village Apartments since its grand opening in 1980. This development has served the Housing Authority and its residents
well over the last 42 years; however, recent moisture issues makes it imperative that we assess the viability of this development.

In 2018 the Housing Authority installed dehumidifiers in all of the public areas. This addressed the moisture problem at that time. Beginning this past August we noted increasing reports of mold
issues from our residents. The Housing Authority responds quickly to reports of mold, and we will continue to conduct testing and mitigation. This has been ongoing at Creekside for the last several

In October and November, we reviewed the development with our professional construction consultants. In their opinion, the cost to remedy the ongoing moisture issues would be prohibitive. 

The Housing Authority continues to perform its due diligence to determine whether or not it would be more feasible to rehabilitate the development or demolish and replace it. We have to undertake this process with the health and needs of our residents in the forefront of the discussion. We have been working closely with the Columbia HUD Field office and are attempting to secure HUD assistance in this matter. We began the first step at the November Board of Commissioners meeting.

During this meeting the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve an application to demolish the Creekside Village apartments. This application itself does not mean the apartments will be demolished; however, it does give the Housing Authority the option of relocating the current residents through an emergency relocation program. Following the November meeting, the Housing Authority undertook a unit-by-unit testing of all of the Creekside Village units and public areas. The testing company identified 26 units with mold readings higher than we would like. Not all of these units were occupied, mold levels were not unhealthy in any of the public areas. The residents in approximately 20 units were relocated the week before Christmas and it is my understanding that all of these residents remain in the Florence area. Those who chose to relocate to a local hotel have been provided vouchers for daily food expenses. We are also working diligently to place all of these residents in permanent housing. The Housing Authority has a team of employees dedicated to ensuring all of the current residents at Creekside are relocated to safe and sanitary housing. We will not let any of these residents be put on the street at any time, particularly during the winter months. We are currently meeting with the remaining residents of Creekside. We are providing these residents with the option of relocating at the Housing Authority's expense or remaining at Creekside. For those who choose to remain in Creekside, we will conduct monthly testing and notify and relocate any residents whose units may become unhealthy. 

We are undertaking an obsolescence assessment to determine the best option for the future of Creekside. All residents, whether they are housed temporarily or remain at Creekside will be notified via DIAL MY CALLS, text app, or by a flyer delivered to the units for all meetings associated with Creekside. Testing will continue throughout the process to ensure that no one is in harms warm. We will continue to work diligently to ensure that all families at Creekside Village apartments are placed in decent and
sanitary housing. No one will be homeless.