Thanks to our brave tenant organizers, Global Ministries Foundation may finally be held accountable for the unlivable conditions of its subsidized housing properties.
S&P Global ratings reviewed GMF’s 2014 and 2015 financial statements and its housing portfolio.
The findings of this review prompted the agency to downgrade ratings on 23 GMF bonds including those for Goodwill Village, Serenity Towers, and Madison Towers.
This is the second time this year S&P has lowered ratings on GMF’s bonds.
As WREG reports:
A ratings analyst said based on their review, the events at Warren and Tulane weren’t “isolated.”
The report read, “We believe there’s a heightened risk that HUD could decline the renewal of, or even terminate one or more of GMF’s Section 8 HAP contracts besides Warren and Tulane.”
S&P also said GMF’s financial position will likely get worse considering the need for substantial repairs at so many complexes.
The ratings agency conducted its own site review at several GMF properties and noted poor conditions at a number of locations.
Just last week, the bank that serves as the trustee for bondholders filed a lawsuit against the non-profit in federal court.
Senator Marco Rubio visited GMF’s troubled Eureka Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida and called for a criminal investigation.
“We are glad to finally see some badly needed oversight and accountability. But we all know that Global Ministries Foundation is the tip of the iceberg of an entire system of corruption within the site-based Section 8 housing network,” said Mid-South Peace and Justice Center Executive Director Brad Watkins.
“We need several things. From HUD, we need increased oversight and more diligent inspections. Further, we need a renewed investment in the capacity of local code enforcement and a robust tenants’ rights and organizing movement. We are in this for the long haul. But sadly, there are many more Richard Hamlets out there,” Watkins said.
While we applaud recent legal actions against GMF, we know that none of this would have happened without the work of our brave tenant organizers at Warren, Tulane, and Serenity Towers apartments. Please support our Tenants Rights Project here to ensure that this work continues.