After nearly two months of controversy surrounding Tampa’s struggling Silver Oaks apartments, the resort failed its HUD inspection, which found residents were living in life-threatening conditions.
Silver Oaks’ property management company, Cambridge Management, is also on the verge of demise, according to Hillsborough County Commissioner Kimberly Overman and Layla Hartz, director and contracting administrator at the Tampa Housing Authority.
Both Hartz and Overman were told by HUD that the resort received a score of “57c*”. According to HUD testing standards, anything below 60 is a failing score. The “c” added to the score means the residents were living in life-threatening conditions. The asterisk means that at least one inoperable smoke detector was found.
“Right now, I don’t think they should move anyone back into these apartments until the issues are resolved,” Overman told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
In July, Arco Management Corporation will take charge of the complex. Hartz said HUD told him that this company had been successful in taking over properties in poor condition and restoring them.
Overman said that while Cambridge is about to leave Silver Oaks, the county is still monitoring that company and other property management companies in the area. She sets up meetings with other managers to figure out exactly how Silver Oaks got here and how to prevent it in the future.
CL has been informed that HUD has not yet officially released the full Silver Oaks inspection, and we have contacted HUD to request the full results.
On April 12, CL published the story of Silver Oaks and from there published 10 stories that delved deep into the issues, finding that residents were living in apartments infested with black mold, with collapsing ceilings. , rodents and broken air conditioners, among other ailments.
Soon after, local and state officials got involved. Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and current gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried has visited the resort twice to raise concerns. Councilwoman Lynn Hurtak visited the apartments and called for action. Shortly after, Mayor Jane Castor came on board and sent out a press release calling out Silver Oaks and saying the administration has been responding to complaints there since 2020.
Housing lawyer Earlishia Oates had been actively drawing attention to the plight of residents of the complex and told CL that while the current moves are a step in the right direction, more needs to be done and more people in power should s worry about it.
“While I appreciate elected officials who got involved, too many people didn’t care when we reached out,” Oates said. “There are children and families out there who are going to suffer all summer waiting for the improvements to happen, and more needs to be done for them.”