TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried returned to Silver Oaks Apartments with a message: she won’t rest until changes are made for residents.
Many of them have fought managers for years over their living conditions.
“We’re going to need lawyers from legal aid or those that are willing to do this pro-bono to start taking actions and holding people accountable,” Commissioner Fried said.
People living in Silver Oaks said there’s been some painting and patchwork, but not much has changed since Fried’s last visit.
“If anybody stepped in any of these apartments, you’d think they’re uninhabitable by just the mold, the fact that the air conditioning units are down,” Fried said.
Commissioner Fried said she’s contacted HUD about the unlivable conditions and that’s the most immediate action she can take.
“We got to figure out what we need to be doing to beef up the statutes that regulate the housing authorities, how people are getting contracts to buy properties and then the contracts to manage the companies,” Fried said.
Although the future is uncertain, Racquel Paremore said she’s hopeful about Commissioner Fried’s involvement. She’s lived in the complex for eight years.
“I feel her plan is excellent. I’m behind her 100 percent,” Paremore said. “If I’m held responsible for my apartment, someone else should be held responsible for their actions.”
Silver Oaks Ownership did send News Channel 8 an updated statement about the work they’re doing to improve living conditions:
“We have been diligently working with various contractors over the past few weeks to resolve all on-site issues at Silver Oaks, including the concerns your team identified in two units. We contracted with All Weather which specializes in moisture and mold related issues. All moisture-related issues were addressed last week, and any repair work needed has already been completed. Members of our staff have been monitoring the remediated areas with moisture measuring devices to make sure no new issues arise. If anything has required further attention, All Weather has been on site to make those repairs immediately. It is also important to note that Silver Oaks passed its HUD inspection in 2021 and management has been notified of a follow up inspection.”