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Rubio Encouraged by Valencia Way Revival
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) praised Jacksonville, FL Mayor Lenny Curry, the city council, and the Millennia Companies for the rehabilitation and renovation of a HUD housing complex in Jacksonville. Rubio also released a video message. Broadcast quality video can be found here.
“Eureka Garden tenants were victims of slum lords and government inefficiency,” Rubio said. “When my office became aware of the problems in 2015, we worked side-by-side with federal, state, and local officials to call attention to the alarming and unacceptable conditions found throughout the complex, and pressure for change.
“I am grateful to the mayor and the city council for their continued commitment to the newly named Valencia Way, and its new owner,” Rubio continued. “I’m also glad we were able to fix the way the federal government conducts housing inspections so we can stop this type of abuse before it endangers the health and safety of residents.”
In May 2019, Rubio and Senator Todd Young (R-IN) reintroduced the Housing Accountability Act of 2019, legislation that would hold property owners of low-income housing accountable for poor living conditions and reinstate tenant surveys. In April 2019, Rubio reintroduced the HUD Inspection Process and Enforcement Reform Act of 2019, legislation that seeks to improve the federal housing inspection process, hold slumlords accountable for misusing taxpayer dollars and ensure they are not endangering the health and safety of tenants.
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.