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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today called for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig to conduct an investigation and potentially suspend benefits to the owners of Glorieta Gardens Apartments in Opa-locka, Florida. The request was made following multiple visits by Rubio’s staff to see first-hand the living conditions described in tenant testimonies. Specifically, Rubio requested the agencies conduct an audit of the property owner, Glorieta Partners, Ltd., and their contractors, to ensure federal tax dollars were used as intended in the rehabilitation and management of the property. Additionally, Rubio requested that HUD grant a Section 8 pass-through lease to allow tenants to receive safe and sanitary temporary housing until the property is properly rehabilitated by the owner as promised. 
 
Background on Rubio’s efforts to keep low income housing tenants safe can be found here.

The full text of the letter is below.
 
Dear Secretary Carson and Commissioner Rettig:
 
I write with great concern for constituents who reside at the Glorieta Gardens Apartments in Opa-locka, Florida. In 2017, Glorieta Gardens Apartments, which consists of more than 300 units owned and managed by Glorieta Partners Ltd., went through an extensive rehabilitation that reportedly cost more than $16 million. It was partially financed with federal tax credits and allegedly allowed for a 20 percent subsidized-Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rent increase in the wake of its completion. Since the rehabilitation, tenants have reported that the property is in worse condition now than it was prior to the repairs.
 
My staff recently visited the property, met with residents, and witnessed thick layers of mold coating walls, sewage leaking into kitchens, and corroded pipes. Tenants reported that they received appliances that do not work, experienced instances where their walls were painted to cover rust and mold, and experience constant flooding. Tenants were assured by management that a “state of the art security camera system” would be installed, however, no such security system is believed to be present on the property, while violent crime and drive-by shootings remain prevalent.
 
In addition to the responsibilities afforded to HUD to ensure safe living conditions, I respectfully request that both HUD and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit the finances of Glorieta Partners, Ltd., and their contractors, to ensure federal tax dollars were used as intended in the rehabilitation and management of Glorieta Gardens. In addition, I request HUD consider freezing the 20 percent rent increase, if it was awarded to the property, until Glorieta Gardens can achieve consistent satisfactory Real Estate Assessment Center inspection scores.
 
Families who live in HUD-assisted properties deserve proper federal oversight and necessary protection. If needed, I encourage HUD to make a Section 8 pass-through lease available to the tenants until the property is properly rehabilitated by the owner as promised. As a U.S. Senator, it is my duty to ensure federal tax dollars appropriated by Congress are not misused at the expense of the families they are intended to serve.
 
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
 
Sincerely,