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Rubio Blasts Jacksonville Slumlord, “stomach-churning”

Jul 14, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) blasted property owner Mr. Andrew Podray of Eastside Terrace Apartments and Eastside Gardens Apartments in Jacksonville, Florida after receiving updated Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) inspection scores for both of the Florida properties. 
 
Eastside Terrace Apartments received a failing score of 6c/100, and Eastside Gardens Apartments received a failing score of 24c/100. The “c” in the score indicates that life-threatening conditions for tenants were observed during the REAC inspections. As a result, Mr. Andrew Podray is facing more than $300,000 in civil money penalties for each property, totaling approximately $600,000. If the health and safety issues at the properties are not completely resolved, Senator Rubio will urge the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to consider further enforcement actions. 
 
“The fact that the slumlord at Eastside Gardens and Eastside Terrace Apartments has gotten away with forcing tenants to live in ‘life-threatening’ conditions for this long is stomach-churning,” Rubio said. “Andrew Podray is a slumlord who should be held accountable for his actions. HUD must pursue any and all further enforcement mechanisms necessary to protect the tenants at both properties.”

Background: 
 
On April 29, 2021, Rubio sent a letter to HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge requesting updated REAC inspection scores for both of the properties. Rubio’s request followed reports of unacceptable conditions at the properties and after a site visit from the Senator’s staff, where they found evidence of black mold, pest infestations, crumbling staircases, and general chronic disrepair. Both properties are federally contracted under the Section 8 Project Based Rental Assistance program under the Department of Housing and Urban Development.