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Inspections required by HUD before Allen Benedict residents can move into new Section 8 housing

Before Allen Benedict Court residents can move into a new Section 8 home, their new place must pass inspection.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — (WLTX) -- It has been more than five weeks since the gas leak at Allen Benedict Court took the lives of two men, Derrick Roper and Calvin Witherspoon Jr. It also displaced 411 residents, majority or those residents chose the option of a Section 8 voucher. 

It isn't as easy as just finding a new home because there are multiple steps residents must go through before they can get their key and move in. One of those being an inspection.

From inside out Columbia Housing Authority Section 8 Inspector Cohen Cooke checks to see everything meets HUD standards. Before Allen Benedict Court residents can move into a new Section 8 home, their new place must pass inspection. 

Cooke said as soon as he enters a unit, he checks the front door first. He makes sure the door shuts and locks properly for security purposes. Then he goes through the unit room by room.

"We will walk through the unit to see if the unit windows open and close," Cooke said. "That's for egress." 

He checks the windows to make sure if there was ever an emergency the tenant has a another way out of the home besides the front door. The smoke detector is also checked for safety measures. Cooke also explains what could make unit fail.

"Appliances that maybe don't have a working burner, maybe the refrigerator needs some maintenance, or the waters not, or the lights are not on," Cooke said. "Things of that nature because it's not to peruse it but then it would also fails the unit. Those are components that are required."

Next Cooke checks the bathrooms to make sure the toilets flush, water is on and working. 

 "You make sure that all the stoppers are working there's no leaks underneath here hot and cold water," Cooke said.

He also checks all the doors, outlets and the water heater. Following that he moves into the kitchen.

"Components, knobs, make sure everything works, fans, all the amenities that are required by HUD," Cooke said. "You must have a stove and refrigerator."

Lastly, the exterior of the unit is checked for any broken windows, siding or leaks.

The unit Cooke walked through Wednesday passed. He said the unit passes or fails depending on if they are decent, safe, and sanitary. If a unit fails the first inspection the owners have 30 days to fix what is wrong and then another inspection will be completed. 

Before a resident moves into Section 8 housing, an inspection has to be completed.