Tampa's Silver Oaks Apartments fails HUD inspection, property management company to change

Cambridge Property Management will be replaced by a new company starting in July.

click to enlarge The sign above the leasing office at Silver Oaks Apartments in East Tampa. - JUSTIN GARCIA
Justin Garcia
The sign above the leasing office at Silver Oaks Apartments in East Tampa.

After almost two months of controversy surrounding Tampa's troubled Silver Oaks Apartments, the complex has failed its HUD inspection, which found that the residents there were living in life threatening conditions.

Silver Oaks' property management company, Cambridge Management, is also on the way out, according to Hillsborough County Commissioner Kimberly Overman and Layla Hartz, Director and Contract Administrator at Tampa Housing Authority.

Both Hartz and Overman were informed by HUD that the complex received a score of "57c*." According to HUD testing standards, anything below 60 is a failing score. The "c" added on to the score means that residents were living in life threatening conditions. The asterisk means that at least one inoperable smoke detector was found.
"For now, I don't think they should be moving anyone new into those apartments until the problems are fixed," Overman told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

In July, Arco Management Corporation will be coming in to take over the complex. Hartz said that she was told by HUD that this company has a successful track record in taking over properties in disrepair and restoring them.

Overman said that while Cambridge is on the way out of Silver Oaks, the county is still keeping an eye on that company and other property management companies in the area. She is holding meetings with other officials to figure out exactly how Silver Oaks got to this point, and how to prevent it in the future.
CL was told that HUD has not officially released the entire inspection of Silver Oaks yet, and we reached out to HUD to ask for the entire results.

On April 12, CL broke the story about Silver Oaks and from there published 10 stories that dove deep into the problems, finding that residents were living in black mold infested apartments, with collapsing ceilings, rodents, and broken AC units, among other ills.

Soon after, local and state elected officials got involved. Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and current gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried visited the complex two times to raise concerns. City councilwoman Lynn Hurtak toured the apartments and called for action. Soon after, Mayor Jane Castor got onboard and sent out a press release calling out Silver Oaks and saying that the administration had been responding to complaints there since 2020.
Housing advocate Earlishia Oates had been active in drawing attention to the plight of residents at the complex, and told CL that while the current moves are a step in the right direction, more should be done, and more people in power should care.

"While I appreciate the elected officials that got involved, too many didn't care when we reached out," Oates said. "There are kids and families there that are going to be hurting all summer long while they wait for the improvements take place, and there needs to be more done for them."

About The Author

Justin Garcia

Justin Garcia previously wrote for the USA Today Network, The Economic Hardship Reporting Project, Scalawag Magazine, and various other news outlets. When he's not writing, Justin likes to make music, read, play basketball and spend time with loved ones. 


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