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Politics

With Florida in Mind, Marco Rubio Takes Aim at Slumlords With New HUD Proposal

April 13, 2019 - 7:30am
Renovation begins at Eureka Gardens, Jacksonville
Renovation begins at Eureka Gardens, Jacksonville

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is looking for the federal government to crack down on slumlords, and he's got  some bad actors close to home in mind. 

This week, Rubio brought back the “HUD Inspection Process and Enforcement Reform Act" which, he insists, will “improve the federal housing inspection process, hold slumlords accountable for misusing taxpayer dollars and ensure they are not endangering the health and safety of tenants.”

He pointed to the federal investigations into the Global Ministries Foundation (GMF) as one of the reasons for his proposal. Going back as far as 2015, Rubio has ripped into GMF’s handling of public housing properties, including Eureka Gardens in Jacksonville, Stony Brook in Riviera Beach and other facilities across Florida. 

“Low income housing residents have suffered at the hands of slumlords like Global Ministries Foundation who were able to get away with their despicable scheme in part because of HUD’s lax oversight,” said Rubio when he brought out the bill this week. “This legislation will protect vulnerable residents from these despicable slumlords and hold HUD accountable for the deplorable living conditions that too many Floridians have had to face.”  

Rubio’s bill “allows the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to remove certain HUD employees from civil service or reduce the grade or pay for misconduct or performance." The bill also protects whistleblowers and “allows the secretary of HUD to better enforce safe and sanitary standards in federal housing and requires HUD to publish housing reports that detail inspection scores of facilities, as well as actions taken to protect the health and safety of affected tenants.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on Thursday. So far, Rubio has not reeled in any cosponsors. There is no version of the bill so far in the U.S. House. 

Comments

Individual states and counties should be able to bring indictments and prosecutions against "slumlords" through their local federal criminal district courts ... in essence ... the state and/or county would be acting on behalf of federal statutes and regulations in partnership with the federal government and federal courts. (The states and counties should also be able to do this with regard to illegal immigrants, also!)

Whatever Little Marco. ---------- Keep on trying to stay relevant as best as you can. At the end of the day you are still a never Trumper and a back stabber of our Great Nation. --------- You and everyone else knows its true Little Feller.

I'm a "never Trumper", too, as is the actual majority of the public. Trump lost the popular vote and his approval rating has never exceeded 41% during his whole time thus far as the so-called "president". Rubio is becoming better and better at what he's supposed to be doing ... and I'd like to see him challenge Trump for the 2020 nomination!

A back stabber of this great nation? What kind of idiocy are you talking? Rubio ran for president against Trump. So what? He and the president not only made their peace, he's found a real use for Rubio in the Senate handling his Central American policy. Give it a rest, man

It must be a happy little world you live in. BTW is that you Marco...Jeb...Mit???

"Real world", Ace, "real world"!

Instead, simply tear down or convert existing public housing into owner-occupied, HOA self-governed condos. Include in the bylaws new security access, gate and fenced, etc to prevent criminal guest visitors like now. The neighboring areas would appreciate it. 2), HUD, schools and churches should enable low cost home ownership for high school grads and GEDs. But only if done constructively for single young adults so they can have time to grow up, build credit, and avoid the cycles of generational poverty they often came from. Rather than force them to shack up in high cost rentals, and have kids before they’re ready. Society is paying for deadbeats dads and prisons simply because we stopped building housing for the lowest incomes and youngest adult sector.

This bill also needs to make evictions mandatory if ANYONE in the family is caught dealing, making or using drugs on these properties and make it impossible for them to get HUD housing again. This is a major problem in public housing with managers paid under the table to look the other way. There needs to be a hotline for reporting this problem with IMMEDIATE follow up without any notification to the staff in the managing organization who too often warn the dealers many of whom aren’t even on the lease. However, at Southside Apartments the manager went after the grandson who was acting as a caretaker for his severely disabled grandmother while ignoring the dealers who were giving her a kickback.

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