Hilltop Village residents complain of rats and mold

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A meeting called “Justice for Hilltop” led by city councilwoman Ju’Coby Pittman lasted several hours Wednesday night as residents complained of mold and rats.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Hilltop Village residents complain of rats and mold, saying they want the property management and Housing and Urban Development to consider a permanent solution to their ongoing issues.

“It’s not doing anything. They’re coming in under the doors, living in the ceilings. It’s not doing anything,” Sareeda James, a 6-year resident of Hilltop Village, said.

James is referring to the rats. She showed photos of the rats to First Coast News. James says the rats are so large, mice traps won’t kill them.

“We don’t live like that,” James said. “It’s Nasty”

James and other Hilltop residents received HUD vouchers to support their living spaces. City Councilwoman Ju’Coby Pittman started a movement called Justice for Hilltop. She says she wanted to bring members from the HUD offices in from Atlanta to listen to the residents of Hilltop Village and offer solutions.

“It’s a work in progress, tonight the owners of Cambridge and HUD from Atlanta, I think they heard what they needed to hear,” Pittman said.

HUD released this statement to First Coast News,

“This week, HUD’s regional leadership participated in a productive meeting with residents of Hilltop Village Apartments. We reiterated that our top priority is the safety and wellbeing of the residents. We remain committed to ensuring property management improves conditions at the property and we are prepared to fully enforce our contractual agreements with our partners.

To that effect, our team is overseeing the progress made and working with the owner’s representative, management agent and with Hilltop Village Apartments’ mortgage lender. We are also engaged with local officials and stakeholders. While we are seeing significant improvement at this large property, the work is not finished, and we will continue to remain focused until the job is done.

HUD has been supportive in the owner’s request for release of reserve funds to address the concerns occurring at Hilltop. The Department has approved release of approximately $325,000 since June 2021. And, HUD has followed up frequently on the progress of the remediation occurring at the property, which includes pest control, baiting and exclusions.”

James says, “The workers who come in, they look around and go back out,”

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