INVESTIGATES: HUD inspections take place at Eastside apartment complexes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — HUD inspections took place at the Eastside apartment complexes, a week after U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio slammed the property owner and called him a “slumlord.”

The apartment complexes both received incredibly low REAC scores. But whether it’s clean or not, neighbors say they can’t escape the problems.

“Water has came down, and I’ve had an issue of mold and bedbugs, but I’m just ready to go,” Miriam Patton said.

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Patton has been living at the Eastside Gardens complex for years and gave Action News Jax permission to see her spot.

Even after seeing HUD inspectors and code enforcement out today, she doesn’t think it will make much of a difference.

“The things they’re doing now they should’ve been doing years ago now,” Patton said. “It’s too late, and it’s the catch-up game.”

HUD, Jacksonville’s code enforcement, and JFRD began inspections around 9:30 a.m., going door to door.

Even Councilman Reggie Gaffney showed up and saw the apartments firsthand.

“I had no idea these individuals and my constituents were living like this here, but we’re going to have to do something,” Gaffney said. “This owner and HUD has to step up.”

Action News Jax told you last week in our investigation the property owner said the pandemic played a role in the low REAC scores of 6c and 24c, which are considered life-threatening conditions. Action News Jax called him again today, but he opted not to comment.

As for Patton, who is dealing with wall leaks and structural issues, she’s hoping there are better days ahead.

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“Fix it or do something. I mean, everybody deserves to have a decent place to live,” she said.

Gaffney said it’s going to take a multi-agency effort to find a permanent solution. Action News Jax is waiting on updated scores and will update the story when they come.