RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Landlords could soon have to foot the bill for tenants that are forced out of their apartment because code enforcement has condemned it in Rivera Beach.
Much of the focus Wednesday night at the Riviera Beach City Council meeting was on the beleaguered complex known as Stonybrook, which despite an ownership change recently, the people that live there say no progress has been made, so people who live there hope this can help keep them accountable.
On the top floor of some of the buildings at the Stonybrook apartment complex, code enforcement slapped orange stickers on doors, deeming them unsafe for a human to be inside.
It’s the latest in years of frustration from its tenants.
“If you place a slice of bread down and you turn and walk to the back and you come back, you can’t even tell there was a slice of bread there were so many roaches,” Dolores Williams told council. She has a relative who lives in Stonybrook.
Stonybrook, which is owned by Cleveland based Millennia Housing Management, told me they have paid for more than 40 families to relocate. If passed, this law would give them or any other landlord that let conditions lapse, no choice but to pay.
Adam Wasserman from the Palm Beach County Tenant’s Union. say the alternative places, local motels, are equally bad quality.
“It’s from one bad situation to another, I mean, that’s what this needs to stop. This needs to guarantee safe housing for these tenants,” Wasserman said.
In Jackson, Michigan, they’re considering a similar law. Landlords would be on the hook for up to three month’s rent. It would not apply to any act of god or if the tenant was evicted.
Council will vote on this February 20th in its first reading.
The full statement from Millennia:
“It is Millennia’s practice to provide temporary housing to households when relocation is deemed necessary. With respect to Stonybrook, Millennia has provided temporary relocation assistance to more than 40 families at no additional housing expense to them. In addition, Millennia has also worked with the local school board to arrange for busing to make the transition as smooth as possible for residents. Millennia looks forward to the City of Riviera Beach expediting the review of the construction plans and issuing the requested permits so that we can begin the comprehensive rehabilitation that Stonybrook so desperately needs.”