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Clock ticks on Jones Walker deadline

Upgrades to Jones Walker complex underway
Posted: 7:36 AM, Nov 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-16 12:36:59Z

The owners of a Section 8 housing complex in Ft. Myers have until November 26th to fix problems found in a HUD inspection.

“Getting better, but not completely better,” said resident Ebony Lee.

Back in the summer, Lee lived among roaches and mold until she was moved across the complex to another unit where things have been replaced.

“My apartment, it has new wooden floors, new bathroom, new kitchen, new appliances,” said Lee.

She and other residents still see problems that remain unaddressed. 

Rakeem Harvin says workers showed up at the apartment and painted over the mold and water bubbles in the ceiling and walls. and he says that did not fix the underlying health threat. 

“Listen, we need to get out of here, everybody us getting sick, my roommate is getting sick from all the mold and mildew,"

Harvin wants management to fix all the problems in every apartment, rather than putting band-aids on them. and he says the owners can afford it. 

“You all are a billion dollar company,” Harvin said of the management company.   “Just put us up in a hotel or something like that, and come out here and do what you have to do."

HUD has increased pressure on the property owners to improve conditions at Jones-Walker, or they may risk losing the federal contract that pays them to provide section 8 housing. 

“Why does it take this long,” asked Lee.  "You should have noticed these bad things going on at this apartment complex, it shouldn't take years for people to open their mouths.”

Senator Marco Rubio asked HUF to release its inspection results at Jones-Walker.  But the agency is keeping those results sealed while the owners of Jones-Walker appeal.