VERO BEACH, Fla. - There are two streets in Indian River County where wooden boards outnumber windows. It's a two-street single-house rental complex called Gifford Groves.
The dozens of homes that are boarded up outnumber the handful of occupied houses.
The people who rent the homes would not be interviewed on camera. They told WPTV that over the years the rent has gone up and the property has changed hands, and the maintenance has declined.
They are individual homes instead of an apartment building, which makes them stand out as unusual to Bob Keating, the director of community development for Indian River County.
"It doesn't have any code problems, but there have obviously been broken windows, doors taken off," he explained.
Keating says Gifford Groves is subsidized housing through the federal income tax program. Keating says most projects that he comes across in similar circumstances are maintained well, he is not sure why Gifford Groves is different.
"They run the risk that if the project isn't maintained well, if the project doesn't continue its affordability, they could have to repay those credits that they have," he said.
Despite the appearance of the boarded windows, doors, and garages, Keating says Indian River County does not currently see any violations at Gifford Groves.
"To the extent that they are going to keep the houses boarded up, and that they are going to keep the grass mowed and that they're not going to let junk and debris accumulate, then there aren't any violations of any county rules," said Keating.
WPTV called the phone number listed on the 'for rent' sign, but the woman who answered said the regional manager had instructed her to say they were "not available for comment."
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