GMF Lays Out Facts As Sen. Rubio Makes First Visit To Eureka Gardens

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--GMF-Preservation of Affordability Corp. (GMF) is working proactively with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to restore Eureka Gardens. Problems were identified and are being corrected. GMF provides a weekly restoration progress report to HUD and all active interior and exterior work at Eureka is on track to be completed on schedule.

As Senator Rubio pays his first visit to Eureka Gardens, #GMF lays out the facts

GMF has invested approximately $1 million to date, and will ultimately spend approximately $2 million in restoration of Eureka Gardens and has drastically accelerated the 10-year restoration plan developed at the time of purchase of the property three years ago. GMF is continuing to invest heavily in Eureka by restoring its critical infrastructure.

Specific restoration progress includes replacement or extensive repair of exterior stair cases, which is on-going, and remediation of water damage and mold in all units where indoor air quality did not equal or exceed outdoor air quality and mold was detected. All mold remediation is now complete and minor reconstruction of the last sets of remediated units will be completed in May. In addition, all issues raised by City inspectors pertaining to the interiors of the units have been corrected. With the exception of on-going construction for replacement of some of the exterior staircases, the property is now in compliance with City of Jacksonville municipal code.

The tremendous progress GMF has made, rarely mentioned by government officials and the media, must be put in its proper historical context. Eureka Gardens did not evolve into a problem property overnight, rather it has been a perennial burden to the City of Jacksonville for decades. Unfortunately, state and local government and community leaders largely ignored Eureka and allowed it to suffer decades of decay under previous ownership.

In recent years, the federal government has looked to faith-based organizations (FBOs) to play a leading role in revitalizing communities since FBOs are frequently the strongest institutions in disadvantaged communities. Like many FBOs around the nation, GMF has answered the call to service by investing in affordable housing for low and moderate income citizens. By working with local partners, GMF offers each housing community many services based on location and resident needs. All services are provided at no cost to Eureka Garden residents and are completely voluntary. They include housekeeping skills training, workforce preparation and training, personal finance education, computer classes, after school childcare and education, dental and medical services, meals and clothing.

Because we are fully committed to our partnership with HUD and the communities we serve together, GMF is marketing Eureka and seeking a new owner who is willing and able to continue to rehabilitate the property for the benefit of the residents and the neighboring community. We will work closely with HUD to obtain necessary HUD approvals for the transfer of ownership, and HUD has committed to work with us on that process. We believe that this is all positive for GMF and its ongoing mission.

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