TAMPA, Fla. — Florida Agriculture Commissioner and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried on Tuesday toured the troubled Silver Oaks Apartments, which have been the target of repeated complaints from tenants.
"This is not a quality way of life, and we have to get to the bottom of who is responsible and make sure the people who are living here, are living here with dignity," Fried said.
Last month, a spokesperson for the complex said "corrective measures" were being taken to address what residents had described as substandard living conditions. Fried says that tenants tell her a completely different story.
"I saw an apartment where the air conditioner has been down for two weeks from water coming down from above her apartment that’s still not fixed," she told reporters. "I was talking to another resident who said yeah they came in and fixed the mold...they painted over it, that’s not fixing it that’s covering it. So unfortunately we haven’t seen anything.”
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Tampa Mayor Jane Castor have both released statements in recent weeks, regarding the apartment complex's condition. Rubio even called on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to conduct inspections.
Last month, a spokesperson for Fried said she had called on HUD to find solutions, too. Her office described the living conditions at Silver Oaks as "hazardous."
"Any one of us, looking at any of these conditions, at any one of these apartments would say that you wouldn't live here," Fried said.
Sen. Rubio's staff visited the apartments on April 14 and noted every unit had an infestation of roaches and rats.
Fried's trip to meet with Silver Oaks residents on Tuesday comes following a prior campaign tour visit focusing on housing affordability. During Tuesday's trip to Tampa, she held a press conference outside the entrance.
For its part, Cambridge Management, the company that manages the apartment complex, has said in recent weeks that repairs have been getting performed. Pest control and plumbing workers were called last month, the company previously said, and AC filters were replaced.