City leaders, residents calling on HUD to fix deplorable conditions at Opa
HomeHome > Blog > City leaders, residents calling on HUD to fix deplorable conditions at Opa

City leaders, residents calling on HUD to fix deplorable conditions at Opa

Oct 09, 2023

Cody Weddle , Reporter

Ryan Mackey, Digital Journalist

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. – From black mold to vermin, the residents of an apartment complex in Opa-locka said they’ve been forced to live with a plethora of unlivable problems for years.

On Wednesday, Opa-locka city leaders held a news conference after residents at the Glorieta Gardens apartments, located in the 1300 block of Alexandra Drive, were reportedly living in deplorable conditions.

City officials are hoping to draw attention to the unlivable conditions of the complex and are urging the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to take action with the private owners and management company as city inspectors recently carried out an inspection of the buildings.

The complex has around 250 apartments and residents told Local 10 News that they are dealing with an infestation of roaches, rats, and even snakes.

Opa-locka City Manager Darvin Williams described one apartment that had feces and raw sewage bubbling up in the kitchen sink.

“The residents of Opa-Locka will no longer live in these conditions and we are not going to tolerate it another day,” said Williams.

Williams told Local 10 News 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.

He says the goal now is to find out what resources are available and what HUD can do for the residents that are suffering.

“Back when this was private property that is compensated and paid for through a HUD contract to allow those residents to live there, that requires HUD to take the first steps as this is their contract and they have privity with the private developer,” Williams said.

Residents said their time and their patience are running out, with their health still on the line.

“I have mushrooms, which are the last stages of the mold— they’re growing from the rooftop in my kitchen. Rats big and small— I woke up this morning and there were two on the mouse trap,” said Glorieta Gardens resident Deidre Thomas.

“It’s very unfair,” said Glorieta resident Jasmine Wimes. “It’s not livable. Just because we’re low income, doesn’t mean we should live uncomfortable.”

Wimes told Local 10 News that she has a son that has medical issues and wonders where and when the help will come.

“My son takes over 20 medicines (and) due to chronic asthma, he developed a lung disease, throat disease, and he started catching seizures,” she said. Wimes also told Local 10 News that her son developed a rash, which she said came from the moldy conditions in her home.

The management company and owners have not cooperated with the city as city leaders worry the building may eventually need to be condemned.

Since the apartments at Glorieta Gardens are considered to be publicly subsidized units, residents say they can’t just leave and find affordable places to live.

Local 10 News received a statement from HUD on Wednesday evening, which you can read below.

“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 [email protected] or 678-732-2743.

Copyright 2023 by WPLG - All rights reserved.