- Associated Press - Saturday, February 6, 2016

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Hundreds of tenants of two Memphis apartment complexes will have to find new homes following an order by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/1L5IKyK ) reports that HUD officials notified the Rev. Richard Hamlet that his nonprofit, Global Ministries Foundation, failed to correct inspection violations for the Warren and Tulane apartment complexes, and that tenants will have to relocate. The letter also ended subsidies provided to the apartments.

“The owner is required to maintain units in a decent, safe and sanitary manner and has failed to do so,” the letter stated.

Warren and Tulane apartments failed federal inspections twice in the past year. The foundation received a letter of default in May 2015 and was given 60 days to make necessary repairs.

HUD staff visited the properties Jan. 25-26 and found “significant deficiencies” that include infestations, blocked emergency and fire exits, broken glass throughout the grounds and missing or inoperable smoke detectors.

Hamlet owns seven low-income apartment complexes that receive federal rent subsidies.

It’s unclear how many families will be relocated, but Warren has 248 units and Tulane has 200 units. HUD will hire a relocation specialist to help tenants find new housing.

GMF will try to sell the properties, Hamlet said. He added that the nonprofit has recently spent $300,000 to repair the properties.

“It is our hope to find partners to restore these communities by providing these areas and families with exceptional housing to meet their needs,” Hamlet’s statement said.

HUD’s Office of Inspector General is investigating the religious nonprofit.

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