Mallard Apartments evacuated after gas leaks and code violations found

COLUMBIA,SC (WOLO)-A section 8 housing complex is under fire after multiple gas leaks and code violations were found.

People have been given 48 hours to evacuate.

“I basically feel like the government has neglected us because this has been going on since last year,” Mallard resident, Shauquell Stroman said. “It seems like we’re being ignored.”

People who live in Mallard apartments said they feel neglected by their landlord.

Winter Haynes has been living there for two years without heat, which is a code violation that was brought to the owners attention last year after a search warrant by the Columbia Police department revealed poor living conditions.

“The things that we are complaining about you’re (the owner) overlooking those things,” Haynes said. “What is it going to take for somebody’s life to be taken for you to pay us attention” That’s not fair.”

Without heat, people who live in Mallard apartments have to get creative to stay warm.

“I’ve been using my stove to heat up the living room and I have a portable heater in my room,” Stroman said. “My kids don’t sleep in their room, they sleep in the living room.”

Columbia police say several homes are not up to code. The department issued mandatory evacuations to five apartments without heat, and 6 other apartments where gas leaks were found.

“The gas has been shut off and they are going to be given an opportunity to correct that,” Police chief Skip Holbrook said. “They have to show that has been corrected for those people in those 6 units to be able to occupy it. All of the other units are unaffected.”

Some people with notices say they have no place to go when the 48 hours are up.

This is supposed to be some kind of assistance and this don’t feel like assistance,” Stroman said.

Code inspectors advised people who have no place to go to contact housing authority.
The owner of Mallard apartments was given 30 days to fix code violations. The next scheduled court date is March 20th.

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