Marco Rubio mini-documentary highlights fight against Jacksonville HUD ‘slumlords’
Marco Rubio at Valencia Way apartments. Image via A.G. Gancarski.

'It won't be easy, but slumlords have been put on notice.'

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio released on Monday what he calls a “mini-documentary,” highlighting his battles against “slumlords” profiting from federal housing funds.

The “Fighting for Florida: Holding Slumlords Accountable” video runs just short of eight minutes, depicting long battles by Rubio on behalf of tenants at various dilapidated low-income housing complexes.

Rubio offered a review of conditions at Jacksonville’s Hilltop Village and Eureka Gardens, as well as the improvements his actions have affected.

Residents credited Rubio in the video, saying was more than just talk. Rubio extolled the renovations as “change” and “hope” for people going forward.

“It won’t be easy, but slumlords have been put on notice,” Rubio near the end of the video.

Rubio messaged heavily on HUD issues in his 2016 re-election campaign, and his messaging has again taken on a new urgency this year as a Democrat again occupies the White House.

Rubio-sponsored legislation targets issues at HUD complexes, including the Keep Children and Families Safe From Lead Hazards Act.

That bill would direct the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development to identify and remediate properties where lead paint and pipes are still used. U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat from Georgia, is co-sponsoring the bipartisan legislation.

Rubio was in Jacksonville earlier this summer trumpeting rehabilitation efforts at Eureka Gardens, now under new ownership with a new name and significant upgrades and structural improvements. The video includes footage from that event, the capstone of a long battle.

In 2016, Rubio mounted a campaign against Global Ministries Foundation, which owned properties in Jacksonville, Orlando, and elsewhere that desperately needed renovation. Republicans and Democrats descended on GMF properties in 2016, especially the troubled Eureka Gardens on Jacksonville’s Westside, now called Valencia Way. Ultimately, GMF sold to new ownership.

With a General Election battle expected against U.S. Rep. Val Demings, a Black Democrat who is orginally from Jacksonville, Rubio’s reminder of his work for and in Jacksonville seems timely.



A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Alex

    December 20, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    It wont help Marcocito.

    Val is going to take your seat.

  • Kathy

    December 20, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    Why isn’t he “documenting” all of the money made available for rental assistance which has not been disbursed. Maybe Desantis can earmark some of that Seminole gambling fund to repairing and building new housing. He admitted he left that “money” in the budget as he knew his pact would come to fruition. Permanent Government housing is not the answer, however, no one should have to live in squalor while trying to better themselves.

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