GMF connected to other troubled Memphis apartments, plus a pattern of problems in other states

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MEMPHIS, Tenn.  -- Global Ministries Foundation CEO Richard Hamlet got his start in multi-family housing decades ago.

Before GMF, he worked for Tesco, a company founded by his late father in law Thomas "Pete" Sisson.

Tesco owns another troubled property in Memphis, the Peppertree Apartments where Memphis Police responded more than 1200 times in 2015 and a recent code enforcement sweep uncovered 41 violations.

Global Ministries remains a family affair as Hamlet's wife, and children are all on the payroll.

Meanwhile, Memphis isn't the only place where his housing non-profit could be in trouble.

"It's just awful," said a woman who didn't want her face shown on TV.

The woman lives almost 400 miles away from Memphis, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Her complaints sound awfully familiar.

"The crime and the apartments we're living in, the conditions," she explained.

The woman is a resident at the Forest Cove Apartments in Atlanta, another troubled property owned by GMF-PAC.

It scored a 31 during a 2014 HUD inspection, followed by a 64 last year.

Stories are much worse from residents in Jacksonville, Florida at Eureka Gardens.

That's where HUD sent the non-profit a Notice of Default in December, followed by a letter explaining all money should be directed toward repairs.

HUD gave GMF-PAC 60 days to clean up at Eureka. That deadline expired recently, and Hamlet said they met the requirements.

A WREG investigation uncovered the non-profit spent less than $200,000 on repairs for one of its Memphis properties in 2014.

Maggie Kinnear is an attorney with Legal Aid in Atlanta.

"It does not surprise me to learn that the owner who's been letting the property get to this point would also allow other properties to reach that," Kinnear said.
She's been helping Forest Cove residents with wrongful termination issues, but also gets an earful about the living conditions.

Kinnear explained what residents are experiencing. "Leaks which have led to mold and mildew. Rotted wood, also as a result of the leaks, bug infestations."

Kinnear says GMF needs to do its job, or HUD should immediately step in.

"I would like for HUD to take the actions it is allowed to take under the law to either force the owners to make the repairs that are needed ."

Kinnear says the other option would be for HUD to consider pulling GMF's contract for Housing Assistance Payments at Forest Cove, like it did with Warren and Tulane, and finding residents somewhere else to live.

The resident added, "Something has got to change, and I hope real soon."

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