JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News JAX has received complaints from a tenant residing at Valencia Way Apartments, claiming that she and her four children have been without air conditioning since last week during the high summer temperatures.
Shannel Reston, a tenant of over five years expressed her frustration with the deteriorating conditions in her apartment, despite the extensive renovations Valencia Way Apartments underwent starting in 2018.
When Action News Jax reporter Jimmy Marlow visited her home, he discovered that the temperature inside reached a scorching 87 degrees.
Reston explained that her family is doing their best to cope with the unbearable heat.
“It makes you feel helpless because when your children are saying to you, ‘Mommy it’s hot,’ they are hot, and you can’t do anything about it,” Reston emotionally shared.
Valencia Way Apartments, formerly known as Eureka Gardens Apartments, underwent previous renovations that were reported on by Action News JAX.
However, according to Reston, several issues that she believed were resolved have resurfaced: the ceiling is peeling, revealing hidden mold, the bathroom sink does not drain properly, the paint is peeling to expose possible water damage, and the air conditioning has been malfunctioning since last week.
“They don’t care; they just keep masking the issues, and no one is really taking the time to get things done. The conditions make you feel like you don’t want to go outside. You’re depressed; you don’t want to interact because you feel powerless,” Reston expressed her distress.
In an attempt to address these problems, Jimmy Marlow contacted Millennia Housing Management, the company based in Ohio that manages Valencia Way Apartments. However, he was only able to leave a message that will be passed on to their corporate office.
Action News Jax also reached out to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the organization that subsidizes the complex, but encountered the same situation.
Reston claimed that she was told someone would be in touch to address the issues but has not been given a timetable for resolution.
“If you continue to let this happen, you won’t have these apartments anymore because HUD is going to step in at some point, God willing, and they are going to take back their funding and stop paying rent for apartments that are not up to code,” Reston warned.
As of now, Reston and her neighbors have been informed that it could be another week before their air conditioning units are fixed.
Action News JAX will provide updates on this story as information becomes available from HUD and Millennia Housing Management.
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