Carlucci finds “deplorable” conditions in Jacksonville apartment complex

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – City Councilor Matt Carlucci was so upset by complaints about conditions at a Jacksonville apartment complex that he went to visit the complex on Wednesday – and he was disturbed by what he found.

Carlucci told I-TEAM that living conditions in Hilltop Village apartments in northwest Jacksonville were deplorable. He used his phone to document his findings and shared footage from his visit to a tenant’s apartment, which included a mouse that was caught in a trap on Tuesday.

“He managed to escape her cat, which she got months ago to kill all the mice in her apartment,” he said.

Carlucci told I-TEAM he was amazed that a family who had moved into an apartment that was not supposed to be infested found mice soon after moving in. He said the rodent infestation was a source of frustration for all residents of the community. .

The city councilor’s visit came two days after Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, called on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to relocate tenants in the complex affected by the mouse infestation and electrical problems, between other health and safety issues.

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“These people deserve better,” Carlucci said.

Rubio also called on HUD to review steps taken by the management company, Cambridge Management Inc., to secure the complex following crimes committed on the property. Among them, a shooting on July 20 which left three wounded.

“It is unacceptable that the residents of Hilltop Village Apartments continue to live in dangerous and unsanitary conditions, including a severe rodent infestation and ongoing violent crime,” Rubio said in a letter Monday to HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge.

Conditions at the resort came to the senator’s attention following an I-TEAM investigation, which uncovered this story in April. As I-TEAM discovered, families would find mice everywhere, from sofas to wardrobes under their sinks, even in a child’s dresser.

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In response to our investigation, the city’s code enforcement division issued thousands of dollars in offenses against the resort owner for unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Rubio, who sent his own team to check things out, has Many times called for the HUD to take action.

Hilltop Village scored a 61c / 100 on a Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) inspection, which is considered a passing grade – anything below 60 is a fail grade.

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Rubio noted that seven other properties managed by Cambridge have failure scores. As a result, it also calls for a closer look at all of the properties managed by the company. It also supports legislation to overhaul the HUD inspection process and hold owners accountable.

In June, city council agreed to spend $ 140,000 to help tenants move out of Hilltop Village while the mice are being exterminated. But, as Carlucci found out on Wednesday, none of that money has been disbursed.

The tenants told I-TEAM that the city’s social services department was jumping them through the hoops to access that funding. Carlucci said he intended to find out why.

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“It is not suitable for someone who lives in my city to have to live like this,” he said.

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