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Photo Release: Rubio Attends Grand Opening of Valencia Way

Aug 17, 2021 | Press Releases

Jacksonville, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) attended the grand opening of Valencia Way, formerly Eureka Gardens, a federally contracted housing complex under U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) program. Rubio spearheaded the efforts to rehabilitate the property after it was run into the ground by slumlords. After the grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting, Rubio spoke with members of the press and toured the rehabilitated property. 

Photos are courtesy of Senator Rubio’s office

 

Background:

In 2015, following tenant complaints of unsafe and unsanitary conditions and misuse of federal funds at Eureka Gardens, Rubio worked to cancel Global Ministries Foundation’s (GMF) contract with HUD and rehabilitate the property for the tenants. 

Following a long fight with GMF, Eureka Gardens was sold to Millennia Housing Development, and has been rehabilitated and renamed Valencia Way. 

Additional background on Rubio’s efforts to hold the previous owner, Global Ministries Foundation, accountable:

  • October 9, 2015 – In a letter, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry first informs Rubio and his staff about the conditions he had just seen at Eureka Gardens Apartments. 

  • October 16, 2015 – Rubio’s staff met with HUD officials in Jacksonville, called Eureka Gardens’ state “alarming.” 

  • January 21, 2016 – Rubio demanded action from HUD for Eureka Gardens residents after allegations of lead poisoning. 

  • April 27, 2016 – Rubio discussed the ongoing problems at Eureka Gardens with Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Councilman Garrett Dennis. 

  • May 12, 2016 – A day before visiting, Rubio discussed problems at HUD’s Eureka Gardens in Jacksonville. 

  • May 13, 2016 – Rubio tells slumlords at HUD Apartments in Jacksonville: “You Guys Are Disgusting.”

  • May 13, 2016 – After shaming slumlords, Rubio calls for criminal investigation.

  • May 18, 2016 – Rubio spoke on the Senate floor blasting Global Ministries Foundation. 

  • May 19, 2016 – The Senate passed legislation that included three Rubio amendments to improve the U.S. Department of Urban Development’s oversight of public housing projects.

  • May 24, 2016 – Rubio urged the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to open an investigation into Global Ministries Foundation.

  • May 25, 2016 – Rubio met with Riviera Beach Councilwoman Dawn Pardo regarding the deplorable conditions of GMF’s Stonybrook apartment complex.

  • June 6, 2016 – Rubio again called on DOJ to investigate GMF after touring an Orlando housing complex with Senator Bill Nelson.

  • July 14, 2016 – Rubio and Nelson filed a bill to hold slumlords accountable for poor conditions.

  • August 3, 2016 – Rubio commented on the federal raid of slumlords at Global Ministries Foundation, which he called for earlier in the year.

  • August 11, 2016 – Rubio welcomed report that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Global Ministries Foundation.

  • September 9, 2016 – Rubio surprised GMF slumlords and visited residents forced to live in deplorable conditions at Stonybrook Apartments.

  • September 22, 2016 – Rubio testified at the Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development’s hearing on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) inspections process. Ms. Tracy Grant, president of the Eureka Gardens Tenants’ Association in Jacksonville, also testified.

  • April, 12, 2017 – Rubio visited Eureka Gardens apartments in Jacksonville with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson.

  • July 13, 2018 – Rubio and Nelson urged the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to immediately resolve unanswered maintenance requests for tenants of properties owned by Global Ministries Foundation.

  • August 30, 2018 – Rubio and Nelson and Representatives Hastings, Frankel, Deutch and Mast sent a letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development requesting swift approval for any Section 8 Pass-Through Lease requests for a GMF-owned property to protect tenants from unsafe living conditions.

  • November 1, 2018 – Rubio applauded the sale of the Eureka Gardens housing complex in Jacksonville, FL, from Global Ministries Foundation (GMF) to Millennia Housing Development.

  • February 11, 2020 – Rubio praised Jacksonville, FL Mayor Lenny Curry, the city council, and the Millennia Companies for the rehabilitation of the complex.

 

Most recently, Rubio is fighting for safe and sanitary living conditions for residents at Hilltop Village, Eastside Terrace, and Eastside Gardens, apartment complexes in Jacksonville, Florida, which are also federally contracted under HUD’s Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance program.