Hilltop apartments barely pass May inspection; US Sen. Rubio demands HUD address living conditions

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Hilltop Village Apartment Complex is taking heat once again from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio after his office sent yet another letter to the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, urging them to address the living conditions.

Over three months have gone by since our first investigation into the living conditions, and neighbors say they’re still living with rats.

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“Nasty, it’s disgusting and I feel disgusting,” Hilltop neighbor Larisha Hatcher said. “Nobody should stay out here that has rats out here.”

Back on May 19, a property management spokesperson told Action News Jax that a Real Estate Assessment Center Inspection was done the week prior. Results came back from a May 12 inspection and Hilltop scored a 61c/100. You need a 60 to pass but a “C” is considered life-threatening conditions.

Rubio’s office sent a letter demanding they address the issues and relocate impacted residents.

The city told Action News Jax that social services has funding to help Hilltop neighbors with moving and the financial assistance was passed in June. It says a maximum of $5,000 is available to assist each household relocating from the apartment complex in a four step process.

“If we’re chilling on the bed you’ll see them (rats) go across the floor in the room, like go out the closet,” Hatcher said.

Hatcher says she just moved in two months ago but is already looking to pack her bags and move out.

“I don’t like staying in a nasty hole,” Hatcher said.

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Action News Jax asked the property management Wednesday for comment on the latest letter and a spokesperson replied that since the inspection in May, there hasn’t been another. They said in part of an emailed response:

“In the weeks leading up to and following the REAC (Real Estate Assessment Center) inspection in May, our management team has worked closely with ownership and HUD to remedy any deficiencies at the community. The exterior and interior rodent exclusions which began before the REAC are now complete. Ownership continues to invest in maintenance and improvements to the community.”

Rubio said in the letter he wants to see a follow-up inspection take place.

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