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Rubio Demands Answers From Owners Of Glorieta Gardens For Slum-like Living Conditions

Dec 21, 2018 | Press Releases

Miami, FL Today, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) requested Glorieta Partners, Ltd., to provide his office with a detailed explanation as to how they spent $24 million in tax-exempt bonds and additional revenue generated from increasing rents on tenants, which were intended to finance a rehabilitation of the Glorieta Gardens Apartments. This request stems from constituent complaints, and Rubio staff visits, that the apartments are in unsanitary conditions, with mold, sewage leaks, and shoddy maintenance. In addition, Rubio urged Glorieta Partners to request a Section-8 pass-through lease from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) so that tenants may immediately receive relocation assistance.
Background on Rubio’s efforts to keep lowincome housing tenants safe can be found here.

The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Mr. Weiss:
It has come to my attention, that in 2017, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved the ability for you to increase the rents on your tenants by up to 20 percent as a condition of Glorieta Gardens’ alleged $16 million rehabilitation. It has also been brought to my attention that while you collected about $8 million in contractor and developer fees, this rehabilitation was not in fact completed.
You may be aware that my staff recently visited your property, and witnessed residential apartments with thick layers of mold, sewage leaking into kitchens, and corroded pipes. Tenants complained that they received what they believed to be new appliances, but did not work. They also stated that workers painted over the rust and mold that covers their walls, and were assured by management that a “state of the art security camera system” would be installed. However, no such security system is on the property, despite the fact that violent crime and drive-by shootings remain prevalent.
This week, I asked HUD and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to conduct an investigation into your affordable housing business practices. Should they request additional information, I encourage you to swiftly and efficiently comply. In the meantime, please provide my office with a detailed explanation as to how you spent the $24 million you received in tax-exempt bonds and the additional revenue you collected from increased rents, both of which were awarded to finance the rehabilitation of this property. In addition, I urge you to request a Section-8 pass-through lease from HUD so that the tenants residing in this building may receive immediate assistance to relocate to safe and sanitary housing. The tenants deserve better than what you have provided them thus far, and their needs must be addressed immediately.