JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The head of Global Ministries Foundation, the Eureka Gardens and Washington Heights subsidized housing complexes in Jacksonville, met with the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington on Thursday. This was one day after Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and City Councilman Garrett Dennis met with HUD officials in DC about ongoing health and safety issues at the apartment complexes.
Sources told the I-TEAM that GMF's president, the Rev. Richard Hamlet, told federal housing officials the foundation had invested $1.5 million in repairs to Eureka Gardens and has accelerated its 10-year restoration plan that was outlined when GMF bought the complex that had be subjected to years of decay.
The source said the meeting with HUD ended without any demands on GMF.
"Yesterday's working meeting with our partners at HUD, who share our commitment to the residents of Eureka Garden, was exceptionally productive and positive," Hamlet said in a statement after the meeting. "We reviewed in detail completed property restoration investments, on-schedule restoration work including replacement of all exterior stairs and remediation of water damage, and exploration of ways that this asset can be repositioned."
After their meeting with HUD officials, including Secretary Julian Castro, Curry and Dennis said they were encouraged that HUD would apply pressure on GMF about ongoing issues, especially mold in many of Eureka Gardens' units.
Curry also said HUD shared the city of Jacksonville's desire for GMF to sell its Jacksonville properties to a new owner.