Jacksonville official wants to revisit low-income housing inspections

Residents at one apartment complex say they're still without hot water

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Some city leaders are looking to make changes in the way low-income housing is inspected in the wake of gas problems at a Westside apartment complex and a fire at a Northside complex.

In July, a fire broke out at the Calloway Cove on the Northside, injuring a mother and three children.  While the cause of the blaze has yet to be released, the News4Jax I-TEAM has since learned there were multiple code violations found following the fire.

Now, a report from Jacksonville’s planning and development department obtained by News4Jax shows there is ongoing testing of the gas pipelines that serve families living at the apartment complex.

The complex’s ownership would not allow a News4Jax crew on the property Monday, but a number of residents spoke with a reporter on the condition of anonymity. That includes a woman who said she has had multiple problems with her apartment unit.

“I don’t know what they did,” the woman said. “They did do a pressure test and all that stuff. They cut my gas off for a whole day and then turned it back on.”

A spokesperson for Millenia Housing Management said she could not speak to the details of inspections at the apartment complex. She said she would look into the matter and provide more information later.

At Valencia Way, the apartment complex formerly known as Eureka Gardens, work continues on upgrades to the gas lines and other facilities. Many residents said they are still without hot water and have been using portable showers as a temporary solution. Work could continue through the holidays.

City Councilman Matt Carlucci has been closely monitoring what’s going on at public housing complexes. Last week, he met with city officials to discuss the matter. Specifically, Carlucci said he is concerned about publicly subsidized housing for low-income families.

“I am not trying to blame anybody,” Carlucci said. “What I am trying to do is say let’s look forward, let’s get this thing from an inspection point of view done right in a systematic way."

He added that he wants to take care of the health and welfare of residents who live at these apartments, saying they should have the same quality of life “that we all want to enjoy.”

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