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Rubio Introduces Legislation to Improve Federal Housing Inspections, Hold Slumlords Accountable

Sep 27, 2016 | Comunicados de Prensa

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced the HUD Inspection Process and Enforcement Reform Act of 2016, which would improve the federal housing inspections process and hold slumlords accountable for misuing taxpayer dollars and endangering the health and safety of residents. Rubio’s bill stems from his year-long work investigating Global Ministries Foundation (GMF).
The bill would also empower the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to discipline or fire incompetent or negligent inspectors who fail to uphold federal housing standards and leave residents to live in deplorable conditions.
“For too long, the slumlords at Global Ministries Foundation were able to get away with their despicable scheme in part because of HUD’s lax oversight,” said Rubio. “As last week’s Senate hearing on this matter showed, too many housing facilities are getting a passing grade even though any bystander can see they are not fit for anyone to live in. And while vulnerable residents are languishing in deplorable conditions that should have been caught by inspectors, HUD has the lowest dismissal rate of any government agency. My bill will allow for real accountability at HUD and require an audit of its inspections process so we fix this problem for good.
“Of course, crooked landlords are also to blame, and if any legislation is going to get results for the residents stuck in such terrible conditions, we have to go after these owners too,” continued Rubio. “My bill will set clear deadlines for owners to make repairs and improvements, and make sure they face real consequences if they don’t. It will also cut red tape and make it easier for HUD to relocate residents if necessary.”
Rubio’s legislation builds on his successful push to pass three HUD-related amendments through the Senate earlier this year, and a bill he introduced with U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) in the aftermath of the GMF scandals.
Last week, Rubio testified in a Senate hearing regarding the deplorable conditions he saw at Global Ministries Foundation properties in Jacksonville, Orlando and Riviera Beach. Joining Rubio as witnesses were Senator Nelson and Tracy Grant, President of Eureka Gardens Tenants’ Association in Jacksonville.