On July 19, the legal non-profit Watson Leigh conducted a mold inspection in various Stonybrook Apartment units, which found dangerous levels of Stachybotrys or "Toxic Black Mold." This same mold is responsible for the repeated hospitalization of adults and children.
As a result, the City of Riviera Beach has ordered the owners (Global Ministries Foundation and Millennia Housing) to temporarily relocate the residents residing in all orange-tagged units as they have been deemed unsafe for human occupancy (20+ units) by Monday, July 23. The city's directive is extended to all other residents who feel like their units are making them sick as well.
Currently Millennia is ignoring this directive, choosing instead to either create a "crisis of homelessness," or wait until the date of compliance, so as to create turmoil and stress on the residents.
We at the Palm Beach Tenants Union, who are working directly with the Stonybrook tenant organizers, have created this fund for emergency relief. We are collecting donations to help residents relocate to temporary housing.
Background on Stonybrook
Its been called “Florida’s Flint.”
Over the years residents of Stonybrook have watched the conditions of their housing complex sink to unlivable levels. Tenants and their children have developed asthma due to black mold. Children share breathing machines. Babies have tested positive for lead. Sewage backs up into sinks and bathtubs. People go months without hot water or AC. Laundry services have been closed for over a year due to a gas leak. Rats literally fall from rooftops. One of the buildings is burnt and condemned yet still has inhabitants. Every resident is sick and in and out of the hospital.
Management has refused to make repairs on the property, except for covering up black mold with spray paint (which just makes the residents sicker). The place is literally killing hundreds of the poorest people.
Led by Crystal Lewis, a group of other courageous tenants have decided they've had enough, and with seemingly nothing to lose they formed the Stonybrook Tenants Union. They've created petitions and held protests. They've documented their conditions in photos and videos. They've shared their stories with various media outlets. They've organized a nationwide "call-in day" to the owners, HUD, and politicians. They've begun withholding rent until necessary repairs are done. And they've teamed up with a pro bono attorney to prepare for a class suit against the slumlords and the city.
All of these incredible efforts have attracted widespread local, state and national attention to the conditions of Stonybrook. The city council of Riviera called for a special emergency meeting. City code enforcement has condemned dozens of units. Politicians from Marco Rubio to Andrew Gillum have reached out to meet with the tenants. Multiple local and regional news outlets have covered the story. Millennia corporate execs, never seen on the property before, have been there almost every day since the campaign began.
Now, the city has directed Millennia to begin an emergency relocation of all Stonybrook tenants to temporary housing, a directive that is being ignored at the expense of the health and material well-being of the residents. In the last minute scramble, much of this burden will likely fall onto the hands of the residents, many of whom are already struggling and have little set aside for such an emergency.
We at PBTU ask that you please join us in our effort to support emergency relief for brave tenants of Stonybrook.
Where Your Donation Will Go
100% of these residents are on some form of assistance and your donations and gifts will absolutely go to providing them with emergency relief, as well as some of their incidental legal expenses in fighting Millennia Group and Global Ministries Foundation, the parties responsibility for their medical injuries.
- Josephine Mulcahy
- Emilio Vejar
- Anne Petrokubi
- Tyler Goewey