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Electricity turned off at two buildings at Valencia Way apartment complex months after gas was cut off for weeks

Just a few months after their gas was turned off for weeks, residents said their electricity was cut off for almost 24 hours leaving them in the dark and the cold.

An apartment complex with a history of issues involving living conditions has something new to add to the list. Residents at Valencia Way, formerly Eureka Gardens, on Jacksonville's Westside contacted the On Your Side team after the electricity was cut off in a couple of buildings Monday night. 

Residents said management, which confirmed the outage in two of the buildings, hasn't given them many answers. This comes just a few months after the gas was cut off for weeks in the complex.

"It's like hell. It's like we're not even human," Bresha Roberts, who lives in the complex, said. "People always say, 'just get up and move.' We can’t just do that. We don’t have the luxury of doing that. I'm not saying everybody doesn't have the luxury, but some of us don't. So, we have no choice but to stay here and endure this."

According to Roberts, her apartment went dark Monday night. A spokesperson for Millenia Housing, which owns the complex, said the contractor overseeing rehab work on the apartments temporarily cut off power to two of the buildings "out of an abundance of caution" while crews looked into and solved potential electrical issues.

Roberts said management didn't warn them about the outage beforehand. She said staffers did come to her door when the lights went out but didn't say why it happened.

“If it’s not the water getting cut off, it’s the gas getting cut off," Roberts said. "If it’s not the gas getting cut off, it’s the lights getting turned off."

In October, gas was cut off from the units after a leak forced crews to replace gas lines. Residents used portable shower units for hot water and burners to cook. The complex gets federal funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

"Hell. Hell. It is uncalled for," Michela Clark, who lives in Roberts' building, said of the living conditions at the complex.

"Treat us like we’re human," Clark said. "Treat us better. If it’s not the adults, look at the kids. The kids are literally suffering." 

Crews with Owen Electric Company were on site Tuesday. Power was restored Tuesday afternoon, but Clark and Roberts said they just don't want a fix, they want a permanent solution to all of the problems.

"It's not about me at this point," Roberts said. "It's about my kids is because they're the ones that have to go through this, and I have to answer their questions about why we don't have electricity and I don't know. I don't know what's going on."

The spokesperson from Millenia Housing said if the electricity wasn't back on by Tuesday night, they planned to house residents in hotels.

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