OPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) - From black mold to vermin, the residents of an apartment complex in Opa-locka said they’re been forced to live with a plethora of unlivable problems for years. Now they’re asking for help.
7News cameras on Friday captured black mold in the ceiling of a unit at Glorieta Gardens Apartments.
Sharon Roberson, who lives in the unit, said these conditions are unacceptable.
“We’re living with mold, we’re living with rat infestation, we are living with termite infestation,” she said.
Roberson said all of these issues are taking a toll on the residents’ health.
“People are moving some of their kids out, sending them to their parents, ’cause their kids are getting sick,” she said.
City and state leaders got a firsthand look on Friday at the deplorable, unsafe and unsanitary conditions that the residents of Glorieta Gardens have been forced to live in.
“I’ve heard that there have been multiple reports with no action,” said Florida State Rep. Ashley Gantt.
Gantt was among the state leaders on the tour. She said that what she saw was shocking.
“I went into a resident’s home, and I see – first I’m greeted with mold, which is an issue at the front door,” she said. “I see water damage where there’s been holes created in the drywall, where residents have had to patch it up themselves. Cabinets that are falling apart, issues with outlets where you can’t even plug in one thing because it will blow the whole outlet out.”
Gantt also toured resident Frank Lester’s home of 22 years. His bathroom is also filled with mold and mildew.
“It’s been from one extreme to the next, you know?” said Lester. “Nothing really gets fixed; they put a patch on it and continue it going on.”
Residents said these issues have been ongoing, and the problems have only gotten worse.
Opa-locka City Manager Darvin Williams said management has changed several times, adding that the complex is private property and under contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, which is federally funded.
Williams said the goal now is finding out what resources are available.
“We’re making a determination if these residents need to be displaced, and if they’re going to need to be displaced, where are we going to provide shelter for them,” he said, “so that’s really how dire the situation is, and that’s kind of the evaluation that the City of Opa-locka is making at this time.”
Residents said their time and their patience are running out, with their health still on the line.
“We ask for a better life. Yes, we appreciate where we stay, but we don’t feel that we need to be able to stay here living like this still,” said Roberson. “It’s not fair.”
HUD officials said they’re aware of the situation.
City leaders said they will be holing a news conference to address the matter on Monday.
Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.