Rubio staff: Eureka Gardens residents ‘deserve better’
Rubio’s staff in Washington spoke with Department of Housing and Urban Development officials in Jacksonville Friday, and Rubio’s Jacksonville staff met with HUD officials in person and toured the complex as HUD wrapped up its independent inspections of the property.
After that tour, a Rubio spokesperson issued a strongly worded statement about the conditions Rubio’s staffers witnessed:
HUD meeting with Rep. Crenshaw “What staff witnessed on site was alarming: crumbling stairs disguised with duct-tape and covered with apparent black mold, faulty electric wiring covered with a garbage bag, distinguishable natural gas odor being sucked from an outdoor piping system into residents’ air-conditioning, among other obvious health and safety issues. Residents of the Jacksonville facility deserve better from a federal housing complex.”
After HUD voided the passing score the complex received in its most recent inspection and inspected all 400 units this week, tenants said they are cautiously optimistic that changes are coming. It’s been two months since the conditions first came to light after tenants complained to News4Jax and city officials about the inaccuracy of the HUD score.
Still no major repairs are completed, something noted by Rubio’s staff as well.
Tracy Grant, the head of the tenant association who helped expose the situation at Eureka Gardens, said a Rubio staffer asked Grant to show her around Friday.
Eureka Gardens 13 “She looked across the street and said, ‘Oh my gosh, you can see straight through the stairs,’” Grant said. “It’s a nationwide issue. Yes, right now, we are asking, and we are putting our foot down to make sure this same cycle doesn’t go on and on and on for years to come.”
Rubio’s spokesperson said the senator will continue to investigate Eureka Gardens “until the apartments are both safe and secure” and encouraged tenants to call Rubio’s office if they have any complaints. That contact information for the Jacksonville office is 904-398-8586.
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