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Columbia Housing director to retire after gas deaths

February 22, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The director of the Columbia Housing Authority is retiring this summer.

In a letter dated Thursday, Gilbert Walker said he regrets the recent deaths of two residents of a public housing complex caused by gas leaks will overshadow the good he has done over his 50 years with the agency.

Walker says his last day will be June 30. He has been director of the authority for about two decades.

Two men were found dead last month in separate apartments at the authority’s 80-year-old Allen Benedict Court complex. Immediate inspections then found high levels of gas in about 65 of the 244 units and officials condemned the apartments and evacuated the 400 residents.

Walker’s letter cites accomplishments like redeveloping more than 700 old units and establishing a home ownership program.