Public Housing Tenants Concerned About More Than Renovations

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COLUMBIA -  The Columbia Public Housing Authority said its downtown apartment units will be more energy efficient if renovations are approved. Chief Executive Officer Phil Steinhaus said the renovations are still very early in the planning phase, but he said he projects renovations to begin mid-spring or mid-summer of 2014 if plans are approved.

However, some residents said there are already problems in their current units that need fixing.  Loretha Jones said her unit has plumbing problems, a hole in the laundry room, paint cracks and cooking grease on the walls. She said these were all problems in her unit when she moved-in eight years ago.

Steinhaus said the Housing Authority works hard to fix any maintenance requests within 72 hours of tenants' requests. He said all tenants have to do is "pick up their phone and report the problem." Steinhaus said there are some serious matters that require residents to leave their homes for a short time while the maintenance is being done. 

Renovations that will be done on the units like the one Jones lives in include: ventilation over the stove area, better plumbing, insulation, and dryer hook-ups.  

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