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Rubio, Nelson Testify on Capitol Hill About Handling of Orlando Apartment Complex

Windsor Cove Apartment Homes in west Orlando, owned by Global Ministries Foundation, has been cited for more than 30 code violations. Photo: Renata Sago.
Windsor Cove Apartment Homes in west Orlando, owned by Global Ministries Foundation, has been cited for more than 30 code violations. Photo: Renata Sago.

Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio took their concerns to Capitol Hill Thursday over how private company Global Ministries Foundation is managing Windsor Cove Apartment Homes, a complex for low-income residents in west Orlando. In June, both senators visited the complex and described conditions as "deplorable." Residents  complained of ceiling leaks and mold, problems they said the owner had not addressed in months.

“Global Ministries Foundation are slumlords," said Rubio during a hearing before the Senate subcommittee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. "They operate these facilities at the bare minimum. They get money from the American taxpayer and they spend as little as possible on maintenance.”

Despite being cited for city code violations, Global Ministries Fund received a rating of 91 out of 100 during a federal inspection of the complex, which has qualified the company to continue to receive federal subsidies.

Rubio and Nelson have introduced legislation that would require the Department of Housing and Urban Development to change how it inspects privately-owned low-income housing developments.

“It establishes a process for independent contract examinations so that you won’t have getting a 91 out of 100 as a score on deplorable living conditions," said Nelson during the hearing.

The proposal includes surveys from tenants and penalties.

In a written statement, Global Ministries Foundation said it stands by its inspection grade and says it’s committed to quality affordable housing, adding that Rubio has visited Windsor Cove once in six years; and Nelson has visited once in sixteen years.

The company added that it has performed much better than the previous ownership of the complex.

The Tennessee-based company owns more than 50 complexes across the country.