'I absolutely want them to know that we care' 33 of 37 buildings at Valencia Way now have gas

Some tenets are without gas at local apartment complex

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax Investigates is still pushing for answers for families who have spent the last six week without hot water in their homes.

We have been telling you about the problems families at Valencia Way have been dealing with since October.

STORY: Valencia Way neighbors without gas for weeks

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Action News Jax investigator Courtney Cole spoke to Denise Cleveland-Leggett, the Regional Administrator for Region IV of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

She wanted to find out what's taking so long for neighbors in Valencia Way to get some relief.

Cleveland-Leggett wasn't able to give Cole a specific reason, but she did tell her HUD made a recent visit to the property. She's still working to learn what came of that visit.

On Monday afternoon, the spokesperson for Millenia Management told Action News Jax that 33 of the 37 residential buildings now have gas.

October 18:

Millenia Management started working on restoring gas to the hundreds of neighbors in Valencia Way... formerly known as Eureka Gardens.

November 18:

One month later, neighbors and families in four of the 37 buildings are still without gas,

which can be especially detrimental as it gets colder outside.

Cole asked Cleveland-Leggett: "Do you know what's being done on the HUD side to make sure residents don't have to deal with that again?"

Cleveland-Leggett replied: "I know that people our people at HUD are working very closely and trying to protect the citizens we're serving. From relocating individuals, to making sure all of their needs are being met."

Cleveland-Leggett is in charge of Region 4 which includes Jacksonville.

Cole asked Cleveland-Leggett: "With the gas and hot water, could that have been detected in an inspection or is that something different?"

Cleveland-Leggett replied: "I have someone from that division here — perhaps they can answer that particular question. But I'm happy to answer anything, but I want to be accurate with the information I give you."

When Cole tried to speak to the division head here in Jacksonville, their attorney didn't allow it.

Cole asked Cleveland-Leggett: "With the gas and hot water, could that have been detected in an inspection — or is that something different? For some neighbors who live out there, who just kind of feel like HUD doesn't care. What do you say to them?"

Cleveland-Leggett replied: "I absolutely want them to know that we care. We're out there, boots on the ground, making sure we're serving the people who need our help."

Millenia Management told Cole it's replacing the entire natural gas infrastructure by installing new main lines, installing new meters and installing new shut-off valves.

The new shut-off valves will allow gas to be turned off  independently at specific buildings, Millenia Management said.

That means in the future, when repairs need to be done, other buildings in the complex shouldn't be affected, as they have been previously.

Millenia Management said that the gas is being restored on a rolling basis — but they are still on track to be finished around Nov. 29.

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