TAMPA, Fla. — Some changes are underway at Silver Oaks Apartments after residents say they've been plagued by poor living conditions for years now.
This spring, people who live in the Temple Terrace area subsidized housing complex showed us their homes. Some we saw were infested with bugs, rats, and black mold.
Now, three months after 'Arco Management of Florida,' a new management company, stepped in, those familiar with the complex say improvements are being made slowly.
"It's been a process. We've been getting some action, some things done," former resident, Earlishia Oates, said.
Oates grew up in the apartment complex and her mother remained there before she recently passed. She now lives in an apartment next door to Silver Oaks, but continues to push management and County leaders to make changes.
"People are making money off the hurt of my community and I'm not OK with that," Oates said.
She is pushing for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the apartment complex owners to further invest in repairs that she says must happen at Silver Oaks Apartments.
"The maintenance issues have been coming along slowly," Oates said. "I think the owners are not giving the management company the funding needed to make those big repairs. So it has been a slow process of the management company patching up things instead of actually doing those major repairs needed to fix the situation here."
A spokesperson for the owners of Silver Oaks apartments told 10 Tampa Bay they're caught up on the major maintenance issues at the apartment complex. However, that has not been verified by The Department of Housing and Urban Development or the North Tampa Housing Development Corporation.
In late May, Silver Oaks Apartments received a failing HUD REAC score. The score of 57c* means it falls below what is considered safe living conditions.
According to HUD public records, prior to that inspection, on June 18, 2021, the complex received a 66c* score. On March 6, 2020, the complex received a 40c* score.
Now, a reinspection of the property to determine whether it's up to code is overdue, according to Hillsborough Commissioner Kimberly Overman.
Overman said the follow-up inspection was initially postponed over the summer to give the new management time to make changes.
"It got delayed and was scheduled for September 28, and that happened to be when Hurricane Ian was on its way," Overman said.
Overman said a follow-up inspection may not come for another few months now.
She hopes those managing the apartment complex make additional steps to improve living conditions in the meantime, saying tenants and the county would suffer from another bad report.
"It's very concerning," Overman said. "The bad news is there's very little rental inventory out there."