Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking action against the developers of a subsidized housing complex in Jacksonville where rats have run amok.
Slamming the federal government’s “lack of interest” in aiding residents, DeSantis on Friday cited the “deplorable” conditions at Hilltop Village and is cracking down on the developers.
The Governor demanded that Southport Development Services remedy the rodent infestation. Until then, the management company, Cambridge Management, is barred from any new leases by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.
The press release from DeSantis’ Office argues the federal government failed residents: “In light of the clear lack of interest by the federal government to take action to rectify the situation, the state is using its authority to stand up for the residents of Hilltop Village.”
A quote attributed to DeSantis, meanwhile, says that the state’s patience has run out.
“Despite recent statements by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that ‘The management agent has continued to work with the most critically affected tenants,’ in reality the persistent and deplorable conditions that dozens of Hilltop residents have endured is simply unacceptable,” said DeSantis. “Our patience has run out for this developer and their management company’s failed stewardship of safe, decent, and affordable housing for Floridians.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, who, along with Sen. Rick Scott, has appealed to HUD to take action regarding this and other derelict properties in Duval County. Both expressed gratitude for DeSantis taking an active interest in this issue.
“As a result of HUD’s persistent lack of oversight, tenants at Hilltop Village Apartments are still living in abhorrent conditions,” said Rubio. “Addressing constituent housing takes multiple levels, and I am thankful that Gov. DeSantis is a partner in these efforts. I am committed to continuing to work together to ensure that the families at Hilltop Village Apartments are afforded the safe and decent living conditions that they deserve.”
Others affirmed the need for the move as well.
Trey Price, Executive Director for the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, said he expected the enforcement action to “bring accountability.”
“The Department has inspected and warned this property numerous times over the past year regarding unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and we are prepared and committed to support further enforcement action where needed to ensure the safety of this property and the well-being of its residents,” added Julie I. Brown, Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary.