JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Action News Jax spoke exclusively with tenants Thursday after learning about a private meeting with a council member to take action.
The rusty stairs and mold behind the doors of some of the apartments are just a few of the things tenants at Washington Heights said they have to live with. Tenants said none of the properties should be passing inspections.
“It's full of mold. You can smell it -- you can smell the mold on the garment,” said one tenant who wished not to be identified.
The tenants said they’re forced to live in a neighborhood with high crime, apartments with leaky ceilings and mold everywhere.
“It frustrates me the fact that I have to live like this,” said the tenant.
One woman walked Action News Jax through her home. She is nearly eight months pregnant and she
Action New Jax tried to find answers for these families.
Last week several agencies and city leaders swarmed around Eureka Garden Apartments and found hundreds of families living the same way with hundreds of violations.
The owner of the properties is Global Ministries Foundation. Across Jacksonville, Action News Jax found the company owns six Section 8 low income housing properties.
Reggie Brown, district 10 city councilman, said: “The federal government really needs to have a mechanism in there that forces folks like this particular owner to do the right thing.”
Action News Jax called and left a voicemail for the owner and CEO of the Global Ministries Foundation but did not receive a response. Councilman Brown said he is disgusted.
“These conditions are deplorable and it should not exist,” said Brown.
He said he doesn't see how the properties all have passing HUD scores.
Action News Jax pulled all of the most recent inspection scores and each of them passed, with numbers as low as 67 out of 100. HUD said the pass or fail depends on the cause of the score and 59 and below is failing.
But tenants said the passing score doesn’t reflect how they're truly living.
“As you can see this is how we living they don't really care. There’s no way we can be passing,” said a tenant.
“What it tells me is that the owner is selfish and they're taking this money and getting rich off the backs of the poor,” said Brown.
“It’s not fair. We’re not their paycheck,” said a tenant.
Brown said he's going to be following up every week with tenants to make sure something is being done.
Action News Jax also checked with HUD asking several questions about the inspection process and asked if either of the properties are under investigation but they told us they can't confirm or deny the existence of investigations. HUD also said it’s reviewing several aspects of the property conditions throughout October.