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Documents about Silver Oaks Apartments still on hold from HUD

ABC Action News waiting for answers on government funding
Confusion in city agencies compounds problems for renters in Silver Oaks Apartments
Posted at 4:59 PM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 18:47:00-04

TAMPA, Fla. — It’s been almost three months since ABC Action News first reported on the living conditions at Silver Oaks apartments in Tampa. At the time, residents showed what appeared to be mold, rodents, and sewage issues in the complex.

The former management company, Cambridge, hired a third-party out of Jacksonville to remedy the issues. However, tenants like Vonnesha King said it was simply a band-aid.

King said she and her children are still sick and problems persist. She sent ABC Action News a video of ants taking over her wall and said ants continue to be a nuisance.

Silver Oaks receives section eight vouchers from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department. A Freedom of Information Act request was placed with HUD in April 2022 inquiring how many section eight vouchers were given in Hillsborough County.

To go more in-depth, part of the request included section eight vouchers connected to Silver Oaks, Columbus Circle, and Jackson Heights which are companies formally and currently under Cambridge Management. It was received on April 21st with a return date of May 19th.

RELATED STORY: Work crews addressing issues at Silver Oaks Apartments

On May 4th, a representative with HUD requested more information connected to the request. From June 7th to June 21st, four emails were sent to HUD inquiring about the delayed release of information. A representative said, "they were still processing the request."

On June 22nd, a new FOIA request was created on HUD's side and again a representative asked for more information. In a letter, the representative had this to say about the change:

"When your FOIA request was transferred to the appropriate component within HUD (the office in which the requested documents are most likely to be located) your Request received a new FOIA control number to reflect the transfer to the appropriate office."

ABC Action News requested an interview with a HUD representative but was declined. As to why this issue wasn't addressed in the previous emails, HUD did not provide an answer.

In the meantime, management has changed hands at the complex, Arco multifamily management based out of Maryland took over on July 1st.

A letter about the change was sent to residents noting the current issues and vowed to take action. The company is known for taking on problematic companies. A representative said they are in the process of getting things in order, but wouldn’t detail what those things are and declined an interview.

For residents like King, she’s not taking the letter at face value. For her it’s a black and white document discussing issues that are anything but.