OPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) - Opa-locka officials gave residents an update after tenants said the living conditions at their apartment complex were dire.
Living conditions were horrid for residents living in the Glorieta Gardens Apartments, located at 13210 Alexandra Dr., a public housing property.
The city inspected the living spaces of the property and found black mold in all 251 units. A report created after the inspection stated that 90% of the units are infested with rodents and even snakes. The report also found that 90% of the units did not have working toilets or showers, and 60% of the units had raw sewage.
“At one building in particular, the feces was coming out of the kitchen sinks of the units,” said Opa-locka City Manager Darvin Williams.
Residents at Wednesday’s meeting expressed their concerns.
“It’s unfair, like, how should we be living like that?” said resident Jasmine Wimes.
“That is not standard living conditions,” said Williams. “A baby should not have to be faced with a rat infestation and a snake infestation and a mold infestation.”
Resident Deidre Thomas said the mold has sent her to the hospital 13 times with upper respiratory problems.
“I’ve been plagues with mold, rats, roaches. I’ve had to replace my furniture three times, I’ve moved twice, my kids are sick from the mold, I’m sick from the mold. It’s just overwhelming,” she said.
Wimes said her little boy is very sick from the living conditions.
“My son, he takes over 20 medicines due to his chronic asthma,” she said. “He’s developed lung disease, a throat disease, and he started getting seizures. He just sees so many specialists.”
In addition, Wimes said, her son is now breaking out in rashes.
“From his head to his toes, every time he takes a bath,” she said.
Williams said he expects to move the residents out.
“Our hope is to have a similar outcome as to what we had with Cordoba Courts, which is to move the residents out and either rehabilitate those buildings or knock them down and build new ones,” he said.
The city explained they have done all that they can after going through the building and housing departments.
Since the building is part of public housing, Williams said, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has to act.
“We’ve been reaching out to HUD, and we’ve had several meetings over the last year, and it seems to be we’re always postponed for another two weeks for a review, and that’s where it’s been standing,” he said.
Wednesday afternoon, Williams said, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson called a meeting with HUD.
Wednesday afternoon, a spokesperson from HUD issued the following statement:
The conditions reported to HUD of several units at this privately owned property in the City of Opa-locka are unacceptable. We have expressed our concerns to both the city and the property owner. In our conversations with Opa-locka officials we have requested a detailed report of the units inspected by their local code enforcement. This will assist the Department in moving forward with proper action regarding the conditions of the affected units.
We have received a list of violations from the city, and we will coordinate with them should they take action to condemn any units or determine any to be uninhabitable. We are working and will continue to work with the owner in addressing the issues that tenants have reported and those that have been brought to our attention.
Any resident of Glorieta Gardens that has issues with their home should report it immediately to the owner. If it is not addressed, the next step is to reach out to the assigned HUD point of contact, Sonj’e Jackson at Jax.Incoming@HUD.gov or 678-732-2743.
Glorieta Gardens’ management group did not immediately respond to 7News’ request for comment.
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