JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Members of the Jacksonville City Council on Tuesday evening approved a bill to help people move out of the Hilltop Village Apartments.
The vote came after the News4Jax I-TEAM uncovered a mice infestation at the apartment community in Northwest Jacksonville.
The legislation, proposed by City Councilwoman Ju’Coby Pittman, allocates more than $140,000 to move tenants to new housing. Pittman, whose district includes Hilltop Village Apartment complex, said the families in the worst conditions will move first.
Pittman spoke after the vote, thanking her fellow council members.
“You all don’t know how much this means,” Pittman said. “That’s why they were all coming when we met to let you all know how much it has impacted them. It has also impacted me, so I appreciate your support on this bill.”
Pittman joined us on The Morning Show to talk more about the latest developments:
The I-TEAM investigation Rodent Residential prompted the mayor’s office to order an inspection of all 200 apartments. The I-TEAM and Pittman were there as code enforcement officers walked through the units days after the first story aired in April. Code enforcement documented 286 violations in 62 apartments, with a mice infestation noted in 32 of them.
During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, tenants spoke out, saying it has been a year and nothing has been done to solve the issues.
“They are coming through the stove, through the AC units. They came into my bedroom,” said Courtney James, who lives at Hilltop Village Apartments.
James said her children’s breathing has been affected by mold growing in the AC unit and rodent droppings. She said one child hasn’t been able to recover from a severe case of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.
“She still has a rough cough, so I give her her breathing machine,” she said. “But she’s just left on her own. They haven’t came and did nothing about the rats and the mold.”
We haven’t been given a date when residents will be able to move, but Pittman will be on “The Morning Show” at 8 a.m. Wednesday to discuss the legislation.
“We appreciate her help and want her to continue helping us to resolve the situation,” James said.
Earlier this month, a group of tenants filed a lawsuit against the landlord.