This week, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., joined U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in showcasing problems at Hilltop Village Apartments in Jacksonville.
Lawson’s office announced on Thursday that the congressman reached out to Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry “to look into the substandard conditions the residents of Hilltop Village Apartments in Jacksonville are having to endure” while painting a grim picture.
“Residents have complained of rodent and roach infestations, live mold spores, and exposed trash throughout the property,” Lawson’s office noted. “He is also requesting the residents be relocated immediately for a proper extermination process and rehabilitation of the property.
Lawson also reached out to U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sec. Marcia Fudge in the matter.
“It is unacceptable that young mothers who live in the units and are working to raise healthy children are forced to put their food in airtight containers so disease-carrying rodents cannot disrupt their child’s development,” Lawson said on Thursday. “I am requesting the city of Jacksonville relocate these vulnerable residents to a safe and clean temporary housing unit while the City and HUD address this horrendous situation.”
On Wednesday, Rubio sent a letter to Fudge urging her to improve conditions at Hilltop Village Apartments.
“The letter follows reports of unacceptable conditions at the property, as well as a site visit from the senator’s staff, in which they found evidence of a severe rodent infestation and chronic garbage overflow throughout the entire property. Hilltop Village Apartments is federally contracted through the Section 8 Project Based Rental Assistance program,” Rubio’s office noted.
“I write to direct your attention to unsafe and unsanitary living conditions that my constituents are currently facing at Hilltop Village Apartments in Jacksonville, Florida,” Rubio wrote Fudge. “After receiving outreach directly from affected residents, my staff visited the facility on May 3, 2021. During these visits, my staff met with tenants and found disturbing evidence of a severe rodent infestation and chronic garbage overflow throughout the entire property. Tenants continue to find rodents inside of bedding, kitchen cabinets, indoor furniture, bathrooms, and more generally.”
“I request immediate action to ensure that constituents are guaranteed the safe and sanitary living conditions they are afforded by law,” Rubio continued. “This must include an immediate REAC inspection to update the inspection score of the property as well as requiring remediation measures to ensure the rodent infestation is swiftly and completely resolved. I also request that a Management and Occupancy Review be performed and the enforcement of any applicable penalties on ownership or management for failure to comply.”
At the end of last week, Rubio wrote Fudge a similar letter, calling for her to improve conditions at Eastside Terrace Apartments and Eastside Gardens Apartments, which are also in the Section 8 Project Based Rental Assistance program. Both of those apartments are in Jacksonville.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.