Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eureka Tenants Voice Complaints with HUD; Limited Progress at Complex Has Them Looking for Answers

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eureka Tenants Voice Complaints with HUD; Limited Progress at Complex Has Them Looking for Answers

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Pantazi

Federal housing officials came back to Eureka Garden on Tuesday to hear more complaints from tenants who believe the complex is failing to improve the mold conditions at the 400-apartment project.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regional administrator Ed Jennings urged people to listen to him and other officials explain how the process works. He described the inspections that have taken place, and he explained who residents can call when they face problems with the management.

"We've heard enough of HUD and the jibber-jabber," one woman responded.

The problems at Eureka Garden, a complex of federally subsidized apartments two blocks west of Murray Hill, blew up last October when the city found hundreds of violations in the apartments.

Before that, federal inspectors had approved the complex, but the government later admitted the inspection was flawed. A new October inspection found deficiencies in 340 of the 400 units. In a February re-inspection, the apartment complex passed with a score of 62, though inspectors still found insects, decaying stairs and damaged refrigerators and stoves. Apartments still had plumbing problems.

Global Ministries Foundation, the nonprofit that owns the property along with six other Jacksonville complexes, contends the problems started long ago and that it has been a dutiful owner.

For months, Global Ministries withheld the results of its mold tests, but on Monday, the government released those tests, which showed Global Ministries provides weekly updates to HUD, and in the latest report, 74 units still had not been taken care of, the government said.

Jennings said they've found a problem with the gas lines, but the federal transportation department hasn't finished its study yet.

Global Minstries' mold contractor has been going through the complex tearing down walls and putting up construction plastic.

'LIKE A PRISON CELL'

On Monday, workers came to Mike Gee's apartment where he lives with his pregnant fiancee and his two children. …

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